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(The top 10 stories of 2011 have been selected by employees of the Daily Democrat. This is No. 1.)
A 25-year-old Redkey man was charged with a variety of crimes stemming from the Aug. 7 attempted robbery at the CVS pharmacy in Berne, an incident which ended when he was shot by an off-duty Adams County sheriff’s deputy.
The story was voted by employees of the Decatur Daily Democrat as the No. 1 news story of 2011.
Seth T. Curtis was arraigned on multiple charges in connection with the incident in which gunshots were fired inside the pharmacy.
According to information 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., dressed in black clothing, holding a handkerchief over his face with one hand and carrying a black handgun in the other.
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 sheriff’s deputy Dio Hernandez.
According to court documents, Curtis pointed his handgun at Hernandez. 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.
Charges filed against Curtis included 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.