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Three arrested in Tuesday's home invasion

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ROCHELLE B. BIRKELO
April 2, 2009
— Three Janesville men are accused in what police say was a gang-related beating early Tuesday morning in an east side home.

Arrested Wednesday afternoon were Fernando Garcia, 29; Victor Garcia, 17, and Isaac Cortez, 18. All live at 219 Marion Ave., Janesville.


Investigators believe the incident was gang-related because the suspects are known gang members, Janesville police Lt. Tim Hiers said.


Fernando Garcia was arrested on charges of substantial battery, conspiracy to commit robbery and party to armed burglary.


Victor Garcia was arrested on charges of aggravated battery, conspiracy to commit robbery, burglary while armed and criminal damage to property. Victor also was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct for his suspected involvement in a Feb. 5 fight at 1944 Garden Drive.


Cortez was arrested on a charge of substantial battery.


Police believe the Garcia brothers planned a robbery of drugs and money from the victim’s house, and Cortez was recruited and acted out of revenge in a dispute over an ex-girlfriend.


All three participated in the assault, police said. Victor Garcia is accused of hitting Mark D. Brown, 25, of 3206 E. Milwaukee St., in the head with a .22-caliber rifle. Fernando Garcia is accused of robbing two other occupants of their cell phones.


Brown was discharged Wednesday from Mercy Hospital.


A detective was following Victor Garcia on Crosby Avenue at 12:38 p.m. Wednesday when Garcia pulled into a driveway and jumped out of the car and fled, according to a report. The car continued forward and hit a garage.


During the arrest later at the suspects’ residence, police found the stolen phones, the rifle and clothing they believe were used in the assault.


Police initially reported that three to five men in ski masks, one with a rifle and the others with clubs or sticks, broke into Brown’s home and assaulted him.


The accused are in custody at the Rock County Jail awaiting their initial court appearance at 4 p.m. today, said a spokeswoman at the jail.


The investigation remains open, but no additional suspects are being sought, police said.



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