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Redkey man charged in Berne CVS holdup

August 9, 2011

Seth T. Curtis

    A 25-year-old Redkey man has been charged with a variety of crimes stemming from Sunday's attempted robbery at the CVS pharmacy in Berne.
    Adams County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Harvey said in a statement released late Monday morning that Seth T. Curtis faces multiple charges in connection with the incident, in which gunshots were fired inside the pharmacy.
    Harvey has filed a bill of information in Adams Circuit Court charging Curtis with the following crimes: attempted armed robbery, a class B felony; three counts of criminal confinement, class B felonies; possession of paraphernalia, a class M misdemeanor; and unlawful possession of a syringe, a class D felony.
    According to an affidavit of probable cause submitted to the court by Berne police officer James Newbold, Curtis reportedly entered the pharmacy, located along U.S. 27 north of the downtown area, at approximately 2 p.m. Sunday. He allegedly was dressed in black clothing, holding a handkerchief over his face with one hand and carrying a black handgun in the other, the report said. 
    According to Newbold's account, Curtis "almost immediately" upon entering the store encountered a customer, Rick Steiner, who was about the leave the pharmacy. The suspect reportedly pointed the gun at Steiner's face and ordered him back into the store.
    Another customer, Roxann Hilton, was also ordered to the pharmacy area of the store, Newbold's report said, at which time Curtis reportedly leaped over the pharmacy counter, pointed his weapon at CVS employees Pam Meyer and Eugenia Brewster and demanded the drug Opana, a schedule II controlled substance.
    Meyer attempted to open a safe to retrieve the drug, Newbold's report continued, "but was unable to get the safe open because she was panicking and unable to push the numbers on the safe in the correct sequence."
    The document said that when Meyer was unable to open the safe, the suspect jumped back across the pharmacy counter and prepared to flee the store, at which time he was met by off-duty police officer Dio Hernandez.
    According to court documents, Curtis pointed his handgun at Hernandez, a deputy with the Adams County Sheriff's Department and the Monroe town marshall. Hernandez in turn fired a weapon at the suspect, hitting him in the right arm, and subdued him until other officers arrived.
    Court documents state that Curtis allegedly told officers he had been taking Opana and also injecting bath salts prior to the incident.  A spoon and two syringes were found on the suspect's person.
    Curtis, who is on probation in Jay County for a 2002 armed robbery conviction, was receiving medical attention on Monday for injuries he suffered in the incident. Harvey said that upon his release from the hospital, Curtis will be held without bond.

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