Original article no longer available
Published March 04 2009
By: Steve Kuchera, Duluth News Tribune
The man who allegedly called 911 to taunt police early Saturday after stealing a car was silent Tuesday at his first appearance on the resulting charges in St. Louis County District Court in Duluth.
Antonio Thomas Robledo, 23, is charged with five felony counts two of burglary and one each of theft, making terroristic threats and fleeing a police officer and three gross misdemeanor counts of assault on a police officer. He is accused of stealing a car and gas, fleeing Duluth police, calling 911 to taunt authorities and kicking officers after they caught him.
Judge David M. Johnson set bail at $50,000 and scheduled Robledo’s next court appearance for March 23. Robledo was represented by Kevin Cornwell.
The state had requested $150,000 bail, arguing that “because of the seriousness of Defendant’s criminal history, the charges in this case, and the Defendant’s attempts to avoid apprehension, the Defendant is a continuing threat to the community and a serious flight risk.”
But bail was a moot point. The Minnesota Department of Corrections asked that Robledo remain in custody because he was on supervised release from prison for a 2008 burglary conviction. He will not be released on bail while that hold is in place.
Robledo was released from prison Feb. 10 after serving time for an October 2007 crime spree for which he was charged with three counts of burglary, three counts of theft and one count of theft of a firearm.
According to the criminal complaint filed Tuesday:
Shortly after 1 a.m. Saturday, police were investigating a gas drive-off and realized that the car involved might be owned by Duluth defense attorney William Paul. They contacted Paul, who confirmed that the car which Robledo also was charged with stealing in October 2007 was stolen.
Shortly after 2 a.m., an officer stopped the car on Lake Avenue just south of Superior Street. The officer ordered the driver to shut off the car’s engine.
“The male looked at the officer and said, ‘You’re not going to shoot. I know you’re not going to shoot me,’ ” the complaint said.
The driver then drove off, turning onto northbound Interstate 35 and turning off the car’s lights.
Shortly after that, 911 began receiving calls from a cell phone number listed to Robledo.
“In several conversations, the Defendant made comments that he was not suicidal but homicidal,” the complaint said. “He also made comments that the police think they can catch him, but he is smarter than the police. He claimed he had a .45-caliber gun and was going to use it.”
The caller also admitted to stealing the car, stealing gas and fleeing from police. He also said he was taking antidepressants.
Police found Robledo after the stolen car was found in a snowbank and a homeowner on Ridgewood Road reported that someone had entered her garage. A police dog led officers to a nearby shed, where they found Robledo. According to police, he refused to leave the shed, forcing officers to drag him out. He kicked three officers while being arrested and at the jail. He also damaged a squad car.