GOSHEN — A New Paris man who allegedly put a gun to the victim’s head during a robbery told police he was trying to rescue an ex-girlfriend.
Anthony Vanover, 37, was arrested Wednesday and charged with armed robbery, a Level 3 felony. He was also charged with carrying a handgun as a convicted felon, a Level 5 felony, and misdemeanor interfering with the reporting of a crime.
He was booked in the Elkhart County Correctional Facility on $100,000 bond. His initial court appearance was set for May 9.
His charges carry a maximum of 23 years in prison altogether.
According to court documents:
Goshen police responded to a motel on Lincolnway East after 4:15 a.m. for a report of a robbery. The victim said he was in the room with a woman when Vanover and another man showed up, pounded on the door and eventually got inside the room.
The victim said Vanover had a gun in his hand and at one point held it to his head. Vanover allegedly warned him to stay away from the woman and threatened that if he ever saw him again, he would kill him.
Vanover also allegedly ripped the phone cord out so the victim couldn’t call the police.
He said Vanover told him to empty his pockets, and that Vanover took his wallet, phone, keys and marijuana. He said he had $100 to $150 in cash in the wallet.
The victim later said he also had some methamphetamine with him in the hotel room and that he thought Vanover came there specifically for the meth.
Surveillance footage from the motel showed a truck arrive, Vanover and another man knock on the door and go in, then leave a short time later. They were carrying bags and had another person with them when they left.
Vanover came to the police department later in the day and said he wanted to talk about what happened.
In his version of events, the woman in the hotel room called him and asked him to pick her up because the robbery victim had tried to rape her. Vanover told a police detective that the woman let him into the hotel room and that he confronted the victim.
He said the gun belonged to the other man who came with him, and that he held it himself at one point because he didn’t know if the man in the hotel room was going to shoot at him. He said he didn’t point it at anyone.
Vanover said they took some meth in the room and flushed it down the toilet, and that he helped the woman gather her things and leave. He said he told the victim not to contact the woman and to leave her alone.
He insisted he didn’t go there for any reason other than to get the woman out, but said that her motivation may have been to take the drugs.
The detective explained to Vanover that even if his motivation was to get the woman out, robbery is still robbery.