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Jeremy Spicer

Charges were filed against Jeremy David Spicer in Lyon County District Court earlier this week.

Spicer was arrested by the Emporia Police Department last week in connection with a reported attempted robbery at the Econo Lodge at 2511 W. 18th Ave.

The 19-year-old was officially charged with one count of attempted aggravated robbery — armed with a dangerous weapon; and one count of making false information.

The first charge — attempted aggravated robbery with a dangerous weapon — is a Level 5 Person Felony. The official complaint alleges that on Jan. 7, Spicer “feloniously and knowingly, to commit an overt act toward the perpetration of the crime of robbery: to-wit: attempt to obtain or exert authorized control over property while armed with a dangerous weapon.”

According to the report, Spicer was armed with a knife and attempted to take money from the business “by force, or by threat of bodily harm,” but failed in his attempt to carry out the crime.

The second charge — making false information — is a Level 8 Nonperson Felony. According to the complaint, Spicer, “did unlawfully and feloniously make, generate, distribute, draw or cause to be made, generated, distributed or drawn a written instrument, to-wit: hotel registration document, with knowledge that such information falsely states or represents some material matter, to obstruct the detection of a theft or felony offense.”

According to an affidavit obtained by The Gazette, surveillance video from the hotel lobby showed a young male wearing a military-style camouflage jacket, a gray backpack, a gray baseball cap, sunglasses, tight blue jeans and black shoes enter the Econo Lodge near the time of the incident. While waiting for service, he twice reached over the front desk — first attempting to open the cash register drawer and then looking at paperwork the second time.

An employee of the hotel eventually greeted Spicer at the front desk. He asked for a room and was handed a small document to fill out for information. The document showed the name “David Myers.” A few minutes later, a different employee of the hotel came to the front desk and looked over his paperwork. He asked Spicer for his driver’s license so he could finish up and get him a room.

According to the affidavit, the hotel employee said he then pulled his gray backpack up and set it on the countertop. He said Spicer then reached into the backpack and “acted like he had his hand on a gun.” He then asked the employee to “put the money on the counter.” The employee said he then thrust his hand down to the bottom of the backpack and postured himself back. He allegedly angled the bottom of the backpack in the direction of the employee.

At that point, the hotel employee fled into an office off of the hotel lobby.

“The male [Spicer] didn’t seem to know what to do, but he put the backpack on and ran out the front door of the hotel,” reads the affidavit.

In the meantime, officers were searching for the subject. They made contact with a cashier at the gas station at 2000 Industrial Rd. and a member of security staff at Newman Regional Health, both of whom told officers they had saw a person matching the description of the subject.

After looking at surveillance video from both locations, an officer positively identified the subject as Spicer. He was located and arrested, but initially said he did not want to speak with the police. He later changed his mind.

According to the affidavit, at first he denied attempting to rob the Econo Lodge. He told officers he had been released from the jail on Jan. 6 and walked directly to a friend’s apartment, where he had stayed all night. Spicer said he walked to the Emporia Public Library on the morning of Jan. 7 and waited for it to open. He was there when the officer arrested him.

After being showed still shots from surveillance video, Spicer admitted he had been at the Econo Lodge. He told officers he did reach over the counter, “but he didn’t realize what he was touching was the cash register or cash box.” He continued that, once he was greeted at the front desk, he put his hand into his backpack and tried to grab ahold of a knife. The affidavit states he put his hand in the wrong pocket of the backpack, so his hand was not on the knife, though his intention was not to harm or threaten the hotel employee.

He eventually admitted it was him in the surveillance video from both the gas station and the hospital.

Throughout the course of the conversation with officers, he detailed his history of mental health and told officers he was suicidal at the time of the incident. He was given a health evaluation from both CrossWinds Counseling and Wellness and Newman Regional Health.

Spicer was eventually booked into Lyon County Jail on a $10,000 bond. Stuart Symmonds has been appointed to provide legal representation. Spicer is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing at 3 p.m. Feb. 3 at Lyon County District Court.

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