The Journal Gazette
Friday, January 10, 2020 1:00 am

Muddied robbery suspect caught after chase

Alleged accomplice charged

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

When the robber tore out of the CVS in the 2800 block of East State Boulevard, he hopped into a car with a loud muffler. 

That was what the CVS clerk recalled as he dialed 911 about 11:45 p.m. Tuesday after a masked robber with gloves and a hood came into the store and demanded money. 

After a chase that night led police on Lake Avenue and eventually into a farmer's field along North River Road, New Haven police arrested Daniel Castaneda, 48, of the 2700 block of Gilbert Drive at 6:30 a.m. 

Castaneda was charged Thursday with armed robbery and misdemeanor resisting law enforcement. 

New Haven police found Castaneda on Wednesday morning walking near Landin and North River roads, covered in mud and shivering, court documents said.

Castaneda told police he was walking home from Lima, Ohio, and continued to deny robbing the CVS when confronted with photos and CVS video surveillance, court records said. 

The clerk identified Castaneda after looking through a photo array and recognizing the robber's eyebrows and eyes, even though he wasn't able to see his whole face. 

When Castaneda entered the CVS store, he demanded all the money in the cash register and kept telling the clerk to hurry up, making motions in his waistband that he had a gun, court documents said.

The clerk, fearful, handed over all the $20 and $10 bills, totaling $180, records said.

As the getaway car sped off, a Fort Wayne officer saw the vehicle at Lake Avenue and Coliseum Boulevard and started a pursuit, followed by several other officers. Before crashing into a field in the 11700 block of North River Road, the car had gone 4.6 miles in five minutes with speeds up to 80 mph, court documents said.

Although Castaneda got out and ran away, the driver, Cameron S. Potter Jr., 40, remained at the scene, giving details.

Potter told police he did not have a license and knew the police were behind him. He'd wanted to stop, but when Castaneda came out of the CVS, he put a gun to his head and told him to drive, court records said.

Castaneda also told him that he had to get rid of the gun and was not going to jail. Even after Potter said he wanted to pull over several times, Castaneda kept the gun on him and told him to continue to drive. Potter said that's why he stayed in the vehicle after the crash, documents said. 

Potter also said he didn't know Castaneda was going to rob the CVS and didn't know he had a gun until Castaneda shoved it into his side, court records said. 

Potter was released from Allen County Jail on $2,500 bond. He was charged with felony resisting law enforcement and misdemeanor resisting and driving with a suspended license. There was also an infraction for a leaky or altered muffler. 

Castaneda was being held at Allen County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail and has a court hearing Tuesday.

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