Three men face a total of 14 criminal charges after authorities say two people were robbed at gunpoint in a vehicle outside a west side convenience store.
Lucas W. Grabbs, 29, of Stanley, Kevin B. Hudack, 47, of Cadott, and Matthew A. Kerola, 42, of Chippewa Falls, were each charged Monday in Eau Claire County Court with felony counts of armed robbery and possession of methamphetamine, and a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
Kerola was also charged with felony counts of second-degree recklessly endangering safety and illegal purchasing of a firearm, and a misdemeanor count of carrying a concealed weapon.
Hudack and Grabbs were also charged with a felony count of possession of a firearm by a felon.
Cash bails of $5,000 were set for each man.
All three men return to court Tuesday, March 3, for a preliminary hearing.
According to the criminal complaint:
A woman said she was at a friend’s house on Babcock Street and received a call from a man who asked for a ride.
The woman picked him up at 4:30 a.m. Thursday at the Americinn Motel, 6200 Texaco Drive, in the town of Union.
The man and a second male she did not know got into her vehicle. The second male, who was sitting in the back seat, pulled out a handgun, pointed it at her and demanded his money back.
The woman told the second male she didn’t have his money.
The second male then racked the slide on his gun and demanded his money.
He then pointed his gun at the man in the front seat and demanded money from him.
The woman then drove to the nearby Mega Holiday station. The second male told her to park next to a van that was parked next to the building.
The woman and man then went inside the gas station. The second male grabbed the woman’s purse, which was in the back seat, and got into the nearby van.
There were two other men inside the van, the woman said.
The van then left the area.
Police spotted the suspect van and pulled it over at Birch and Franklin streets.
The three men inside were identified as Hudack, Grabbs and Kerola.
Kerola then immediately accused the woman in the other vehicle of stealing his wallet.
A partially concealed AR-15 rifle was inside the van.
The woman’s stolen purse was found in the front seat.
Methamphetamine and two other guns, including a handgun, were found inside the van.
Kerola told police Hudack gave him the pistol before he exited the van to meet with the woman.
Kerola said he had previously given the woman $750.
Hudack denied ever seeing or possessing a firearm during this incident.
Grabbs said Kerola indicated he was going to shoot the woman and man in the other vehicle and that he and Hudack talked him out of it.
Police learned Grabbs is a convicted felon from Texas.
Hudack was convicted of a felony count of possession of methamphetamine in September 2015 in Chippewa County.