Lawrence police early Tuesday arrested a 19-year-old Ottawa man and are looking for three or four other suspects in connection with a robbery reported at 12:30 a.m. in Lawrence, according to Douglas County Jail records.
The man, Colby Blaine Simon, was booked into jail just after 4 a.m. on four counts of aggravated robbery and four counts of aggravated kidnapping after a Lawrence officer arrested him at the Ottawa Police Department. Sgt. Matt Sarna, a Lawrence police spokesman, said Ottawa police found Simon driving a white vehicle that was described as leaving the robbery in Lawrence.
Prosecutors filed charges of aggravated robbery, three counts of robbery and four counts of aggravated kidnapping against him Tuesday afternoon. Prosecutors said the aggravated robbery charge was because one of the victims was injured.
Simon was arrested in connection with what initially was reported as a strong-armed robbery of four people in the 1700 block of West 19th Street in Lawrence. Sarna said Tuesday morning the four male victims, who were ages 18 and 19 and all lived at the residence, told police the suspects said they had a gun.
Lawrence police gave this account:
• The four victims were home at midnight when four or five men stopped by and came inside.
• One of the roommates was an acquaintance of one of the visitors, but the roommates did not know the other visitors.
• “After being there for a short time the male victims allege the four to five suspects robbed them after stating they had a gun,” Sarna said. “The victims stated the suspects took money, cell phones and other items from the apartment. The suspects then left the area.”
The victims called police about 12:30 a.m.
During a first appearance Tuesday Simon said "not really" and "I guess" when pro-tem judge James George asked him if he understood the charges.
Assistant district attorney Eve Kemple said Simon had a prior burglary and theft conviction in Franklin County.
"He’s definitely presumptive imprisonment on this offense." Kemple said. “The state is requesting $100,000 bond cash or surety because of the severity of the charges.”
But defense attorney Sarah Swain asked for a $20,000 bond saying her client lived in Ottawa and took care of his 1-year-old daughter there.
"He does not have any prior violent felonies or any violent convictions whatsoever," Swain said.
George set Simon's bond at $50,000 and ordered him to appear in court again Jan. 24.