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Four charged with armed robbery in Taneytown
Cole, Rousseau, Barnes, Wheeler

Three Taneytown men and a juvenile are facing armed robbery and conspiracy charges stemming from an incident during which a man was allegedly robbed at knifepoint in Memorial Park.

James Levelle Cole III, 18, Steven Michael Rousseau, 23, Tony Frank Barnes Jr., 18, and Jonathan Jeffrey Doug Wheeler, 16, all of East Baltimore Street in Taneytown, are charged with conspiracy, armed robbery, robbery, assault, theft and malicious destruction of property, according to electronic court files.

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Cole, Rousseau and Barnes are being held at the Carroll County Detention Center. Cole is being held on $100,000 bond, Rousseau on $10,000 and Barnes on $75,000, according to electronic court files.

Wheeler, who was charged as adult, was released Tuesday on $5,000 bond.

Taneytown police officers were dispatched to a reported mugging at Memorial Park at about 1 a.m. Monday, according to charging documents.

Police canvassed the area for suspects while an officer met with the alleged victim, who had called 911 from nearby, according to the documents.

The alleged victim told police he was supposed to meet Cole at the park to purchase marijuana and while they were walking through the park talking, two or three hooded men in camouflage pants ran from behind a tree toward them and Cole ran away, according to the documents.

The alleged victim said he was tackled to the ground and one of the men held a knife against his right side and threatened to cut him if he moved or cried out, according to the documents. The suspects left with the victim's wallet, keys, cigarettes and lighter.

When he returned to the scene with the police, the victim found the windshield of his car had been broken, according to the documents.

A tracking dog was requested and led police from the park to the apartments where Rousseau, Barnes and Wheeler reside, according to the documents.

Barnes and Rousseau were located and taken to the Police Department, where they waived their rights and gave written statements.

Barnes wrote that he was walking to the park with Rousseau and Cole when they heard a window break, and he and Rousseau fled, according to the documents. He described the incident as a drug deal that went bad.

Rousseau wrote that he went to the park with Barnes and Cole, and was waiting for Barnes to conduct a drug transaction when Barnes returned and said the deal had not gone forward, according to charging documents. Rousseau then wrote that he went to his house and went to sleep, waking up to the police knocking.

Cole was also read his rights and agreed to give a written statement, according to the documents. He wrote that the alleged victim asked Cole to sell him marijuana that night, and Cole was with the other three suspects at the time talking about how they could get free drugs or money, according to the documents.

The three accompanied Cole to the park to meet the alleged victim, Cole wrote, and Barnes and Rousseau began hitting the victim, handing the money they took from him to Wheeler, according to the documents. Cole also wrote that Barnes smashed the victim's car window before they left.

Cole, Rousseau and Barnes were placed under arrest and transported to the detention center's central booking unit. Charging documents for Wheeler do not indicate when he was located and arrested.

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Cole and Barnes both have pending charges in the District Court of Maryland for Carroll County in unrelated matters, according to court records.

Cole was arrested June 12 for allegedly grabbing and shoving his mother during an argument about his drug use and his not attending school, according to charging documents. He was released from the detention center on his own recognizance.

Barnes was served with a criminal summons June 19 for allegedly stealing money from a co-worker's purse at the Taneytown McDonald's, according to charging documents.

410-857-7898

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