LANSING - An Indiana State Trooper is among three men accused of breaking into a Lansing house and attacking a homeowner Sunday evening.
State Trooper Elton D. Jones, of Valparaiso, Indiana, is charged with armed robbery and home invasion for the October 18th break-in at a Lansing home. Damien D'Shaw West, 19, of Lansing, and Richard Edwards Simmons, 30, of Lansing, are similarly charged.
At a Tuesday afternoon press conference Lansing Police Chief Mark Alley ran down the frightening events of that night. At approximately 11pm Sunday a couple in their 60's was sleeping when they heard a loud pounding at the door of their home in the 2100 block of Cogswell Street. One of the residents went downstairs to investigate and found three men wearing dark clothing and masks had broke through the door. The masked men assaulted the male homeowner. The attackers held the couple at gunpoint while the home was ransacked. While the gunmen went through the home, the homeowner was able to escape. He fled to a neighbors home and the police were called.
Seeing the homeowner escape, the three men ran out of the home. The only thing taken was a briefcase.
Police questioned people in the neighborhood, and were able to get a description of the car. About half an hour later, patrol officers stopped a car at Grand River Ave. and Oakland Ave matching a witness's description. There police say they found evidence linking them to the break-in, and the men were taken into custody. The three were arraigned Wednesday afternoon on three felony counts: armed robbery, home invasion first degree, and felony firearm.
Indiana State police say the 28-year-old Elton Jones had only been an officer since August of 2008. Jones was fired from their force once charges were brought against him in Lansing. Jones had once lived in Lansing, but Chief Alley did not know when.
On Monday police told News 10 the briefcase contained papers. The significance of those papers, if any, is unknown, and police would not comment during Tuesday's press conference, citing that information is part of the investigation.
The three men are scheduled for a preliminary hearing on October 30th.