Attempted robbery ends in jail time

ESCANABA — A 22-year-old male from New Mexico accused of attempting to rob a Mexican restaurant in Escanaba while armed last year was sentenced to 12 months in the Delta County Jail Monday.

Alejandro Castillo, homeless, was wearing a mask and gloves and brandishing a billy club on Dec. 19 when he entered the El Patron restaurant through a back door, damaging property as he made an attempt toward the cash register.

During a plea hearing in circuit court last month, Castillo said he was looking for a manager to pay him for three months he had worked at the restaurant at 1636 Ludington St. The incident occurred at 11:30 a.m. during business hours, according to Escanaba Public Safety.

After an employee fought him off, Castillo went out the restaurant’s back door where he was apprehended by police, arrested, and lodged in jail in lieu of a $500,000 cash/surety bond.

Police recovered a mask, gloves and club, which Castillo had discarded at the scene along with a air-soft pistol he had tucked in his waistband and discarded.

Following completion of a competency evaluation report in March, Castillo waived his right to a preliminary hearing in district court. He was bound over to circuit court where he admitted to damaging items and possessing a club and likely frightening employees and customers in the restaurant. He pleaded guilty but mentally ill to three charges.

Prior to being sentenced Monday, Judge John Economopoulos told Castillo that no matter what justification he had to get paid, he had no justification to do what he did.

Castillo was sentenced to 11 months in jail for possession of a dangerous weapon, 12 months in jail for assault with a dangerous weapon (felonious assault), and 90 days in jail for malicious destruction of property less than $200.

All three sentences are concurrent. He was given credit for serving 189 days in jail and was ordered to pay a total of $394 in fines and costs.

The court dismissed one count of assault with intent to commit an armed robbery and one count of attempted larceny in a building.