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Guilty verdict handed down in attempted robbery, but with twist

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RACINE — Jurors spent just 41 minutes deliberating on Wednesday before convicting a man of trying to rob a Racine man outside of his North Side home, but fleeing after the intended victim yelled at him and wouldn’t cooperate.

Jurors added a twist, though.

They convicted Anthony L. Redmond of attempted unarmed — not armed — robbery and bail jumping. Prosecutors had charged Redmond in December with attempted armed robbery, a felony. They also charged him with misdemeanor bail jumping because he was out on bond at the time of the incident.

Redmond, 19, of Racine, went on trial Wednesday, maintaining he didn’t try to rob Racine resident Jacob Sertuche on Dec. 27 in front of Sertuche’s home. Redmond testified he was panhandling for money so he and an acquaintance could take the bus.

“I was tired of walking and I was gon’na ask him for some bus fare,” Redmond said from the witness stand. “I asked him if he had some bus fare he could spare so me and LaQuasia (Sanders) could catch a bus. He was the only person around to panhandle. He said ‘(expletive) off.’

“In Chicago it’s OK and normal to ask people (for money) if you need bus money,” Redmond testified.

Redmond said he was upset that Sertuche was disrespecting him, so he pointed his finger at Sertuche and told him to “watch his mouth. He ... called me a racist slur.”

Redmond testified he knew it was wrong, but he became angrier, following Sertuche to his door and grabbing his arm before fleeing because he heard barking dogs.

“I was trying to break his wrist, trying to break his arm — not intimidate or scare him,” Redmond said.

“So your intention was not to rob a stranger but to break his arm?” Racine County Assistant District Attorney Robert Repischak asked.

“Yes, sir,” he replied.

However, Sertuche testified to a much different version of events.

Racine officers were called to the home at about 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 27 by the man’s mother, who reportedly had heard the ruckus outside the home.

Sertuche testified Wednesday that he had just returned from the gas station and parked on Ninth Street, across from his home. He spotted two people walking along the sidewalk, coming toward him. Sanders continued walking down the sidewalk. The other came up, brandished a small, black, semiautomatic handgun and demanded everything in Sertuche’s pockets, he said.

“I said ‘Are you for real?’ and walked away toward my house,” Sertuche testified. “He followed me immediately.”

Sertuche said Redmond again flashed the gun at him and demanded everything in his pockets.

“I was angry and I told him to ‘eff off.’ I told him to ‘(expletive) off,” Sertuche said.

At Sertuche’s front door, Redmond grabbed his arm when he opened the glass outer door, because Redmond had told him not to open the door, Sertuche said.

“I looked up at him and told him ‘that was not a smart idea’ and he ran away,” Sertuche testified.

Defense attorney Michael Barth asked if Sertuche was afraid during the incident.

“No. I can defend myself,” Sertuche said.

Police never found a handgun — not on Redmond when he was arrested that night just a couple of blocks down the road, and not along the path he and Sanders used running from the house. Redmond maintained he didn’t have a handgun and wouldn’t have a gun.

“I watched my best friend get his brains blown out at the age of 12 when we (were) in Chicago. We was playing cops and robbers,” Redmond testified. “Since then, I never liked playing with guns.”

Circuit Judge Allan “Pat” Torhorst set his sentencing for May 30. A jury trial is set for Sanders, 19, on Aug. 6.

Redmond has remained in the Racine County Jail since his arrest.

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