Evansville robbery tale includes cocaine, oxy and booze

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Frank Schultz
Wednesday, February 26, 2014

JANESVILLE—Monday's robbery of the Evansville Pharmacy began with a man coming up behind a clerk in the pharmacy, putting a hand on her shoulder and holding a wooden object to her head, according to a criminal complaint filed in Rock County Court on Wednesday.

The man, wearing a hoodie and with a scarf around his face, told the woman to give him all her 80-milligram Oxycontin pills.

The clerk unlocked a cabinet and gave him bottles of the addictive synthetic opioid.

The man made off with more than 400 Oxycodone pills of various dosages, valued at $3,786, but he dumped or spilled some of them as officers from the nearby police station chased him in downtown Evansville, the complaint indicates.

Accused of robbing the pharmacy is Paul M. Engel, 56, of 34 S. Madison St., Evansville.

Engel ran into his nearby residence with police running after him, the complaint indicates. He apparently ran out the back door immediately, jumped a fence and eluded officers for more than four hours, the complaint indicates.

A car was reported stolen soon after the robbery. An Orfordville police officer spotted the car at 7:34 p.m. in Orfordville, and a pursuit ensued north on Highway 213. An officer spread stop sticks on the highway near the intersection with County M, puncturing two of the vehicle's tires.

Engel continued a short distance when a sheriff's deputy got in front of him, boxing him in and ending the chase on Ahara Road, the complaint states.

Engel was seen putting his hands to his mouth, as if he was swallowing something while still inside the car. Later as he was cuffed and bending over a squad car, he spat out several Oxycontin pills, the complaint states.

Engel later told officers he had been drinking and took Oxycodone earlier in the day, and officers found suspected cocaine and hypodermic needles in the car, the complaint states.

Engel is charged with robbery with use of force, theft, sixth-offense operating while intoxicated, operating a motor vehicle without owner consent, fleeing an officer, possession of narcotics, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of cocaine as a second offense.

Court Commissioner Stephen Meyer on Wednesday set a cash bond of $20,000. Engel's next court date is Tuesday, March 4.

Last updated: 7:08 pm Wednesday, February 26, 2014

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