The Journal Gazette
Thursday, February 06, 2020 1:00 am

Man faces charges in incident at local hotel

Accused of theft, using gun to beat victim last month

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

Two weeks after the victim was pistol-whipped and shot at, he still had cuts on his face. 

Gage Christopher Oberley, 20, of no given address, was charged Wednesday with armed robbery, carrying a handgun without a license, battery by means of a deadly weapon, criminal recklessness committed with a deadly weapon and theft. He was being held in lieu of $32,500 bail at the Allen County Jail. 

Officers from the Fort Wayne Police Department, Indiana State Police and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives investigated the incident that took place about 6 a.m. Jan. 9 at the Economy Inn at 3340 Coliseum Blvd. W.

The first witness told a state police detective he saw a man wearing a red Carhartt jacket waving a gun around and then striking the victim in the head. Then he heard a gunshot.

Fort Wayne police Officer Stephanie Souther was on patrol just north of the motel when the incident occurred and heard “a loud bang,” court documents said. 

The officer followed a trail of blood to one of the motel rooms and found the victim who had a large cut and lump on his face. Outside the motel room, police found a live round of ammunition and a small bag of methamphetamine. 

The victim told police a man, his girlfriend and another man he knew as “Rico,” later identified as Oberley, met with him in the motel parking lot. As the two others walked off, Oberley pistol-whipped him and the gun went off. The victim believed he'd been shot at that time, he told police.

Oberley went through the victim's pockets, robbing him of $200 and then ran off to the Rodeway Inn where the victim said Oberley used to have a motel room. 

The victim said he believed one of the two who walked off had set him up because he saw evidence of that on social media. The victim also said Oberley had taken a .40-caliber pistol from him that he'd recently bought from a pawn shop in New Haven. He was acquainted with Oberley from the summer of 2019 when they were both inmates at the Allen County Jail. 

A female friend of the group who wound up at the jail on a warrant told a detective she knew Oberley as “Little Bro” and gave a description of the gun used in and presented photos of the gun posted on social media. 

Police had a follow-up interview with the victim Jan. 24 when he was pulled over in a traffic stop. The victim said Oberley had been kicked out of the Rodeway Inn and that one of the witnesses wanted Oberley to stay with the victim because he didn't have a place to stay.

Oberley and the victim hung out in the victim's room at the Economy Inn for about an hour and then the victim went outside to look for the keys to his Subaru. Oberley followed him out and pulled the same gun described by other witnesses and smacked him in the face. The gun went off and Oberley robbed him, court records said.

The state police detective said in court records the victim “still had large lacerations on his face from being pistol-whipped” nearly two weeks after the incident. The victim had two cuts on the cheek near his eye and one cut on the top of his nose, court records said. 

On Tuesday, the Fort Wayne police Gang and Violent Crimes Unit pulled Oberley over in a traffic stop. Oberley had marijuana on him and was subsequently charged with several counts relating to the Jan. 9 incident and misdemeanor marijuana possession. Oberley has a court hearing Monday.

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