A scary situation at a Scottsburg gas station early on July 27 ended with the swift arrest of an Illinois man who is now charged with armed robbery.
Shawn Malzahn, 26, Bolingbrook, Il., is being held in lieu of a $75,000 corporate surety bond/full cash bail. He is charged with robbery, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, both Class B felonies, Class D felony theft and false informing, a Class B misdemeanor.
He allegedly approached an attendant at the Swifty gas station at the intersection of U.S. Highway 31 and State Road 56 that Saturday while the woman was changing some signs before the station opened at 5:30 a.m.
She said the man said something she could not hear so she responded by telling him the station opened at 5:30. She then started to go inside the store, but the man “...kept coming...” She said she stopped and told him again about the time it opened. This time, he allegedly pulled out a black handgun and told her he needed $20.
The attendant said she entered the store and the man stood with the door propped open. She said she gave him $50 in tens after hitting the store’s “panic” button.
Scottsburg police arrived shortly after the man had run across U.S. 31 to his car parked in the Stoplight Liquor lot and fled.
Knowing that the man had driven toward the Interstate 65 interchange, Patrolman Travis Rutherford drove southbound and soon located a car matching the description given and bearing an Illinois plate. Deputy Joe Johnson remained with the store attendant, taking her statement and relaying information to Rutherford.
Ptl. Rutherford stopped the car and talked to the driver, later identified as Malzahn. The man denied having stopped in Scottsburg, but the attendant had described his clothing, which matched, and said that the robber sported a thin reddish beard, which Malzahn had.
In a search of the car, a dark blue hoody, a pair of black gloves and a large gym bag containing a loaded black Taurus 357 Magnum handgun was found. The suspect also had five $10 bills in his pocket, the probable cause affidavit noted.
Malzahn’s trial has been scheduled for December 17 by Judge Roger Duvall.
A review of whether or not he needs a public defender was scheduled on Monday, August 5.