You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Police and fire

  • Man arrested after barricading himself with an assault rifle
    A man barricaded himself inside a Fort Wayne apartment with an assault rifle early this morning when police responded to reports of a domestic battery, according to a statement from the Fort Wayne Police Department.
  • Fatal farming incident in Dekalb County
    A man at a Dekalb County farm died this morning after being pinned between a tractor and metal beam, according to a statement from the Dekalb County Sheriff’s Department.
  • Woman's tormentor sought in beatings
    A New Haven man is accused of choking a woman into unconsciousness before beating her again and trying to rape her after she was released from a hospital.
Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Scene of Wednesday's robbery attempts at Southgate Plaza Shopping Center.

Passersby stop suspect in robbery

FORT WAYNE – A 60-year-old man who tried to commit back-to-back robberies Wednesday afternoon at a bank and liquor store in Southgate Plaza was caught with the help of two young men, Fort Wayne police said.

James A. Howell, of Fort Wayne, faces preliminary charges of robbery, attempted robbery and battery.

According to police, Howell went into Chase Bank at 204. E. Pettit St. and gave a note demanding large bills to a teller. When the teller would not give him money, Howell left the bank, police said.

He then went two doors down to Belmont Beverage, 134 E. Pettit St., where he punched a cashier, a middle-aged woman, several times in the chest and took an undetermined amount of cash. He ran from the store, going north toward the Salvation Army, police said.

Police officers were dispatched to the scene about 1:45 p.m. Two young men walking near Southgate Plaza held Howell, who was unarmed, until officers arrived, police said.

Police no weapon was ever implied displayed or recovered in connection with these incidents.