By Tim Eberly
A Havre man accused of robbing three men at gunpoint last week and then fleeing the city surrendered to Havre police Sunday, police said today.
Danny Joe Connor, 21, and a friend known only as Steve drove to Seattle after using a semiautomatic weapon to hold up the men Thursday during a card game in the 800 block of First Street, Havre police said. The robbers took $495 and two watches from one of the victims, police said.
Police issued warrants for the arrest of Connor and the friend. Connor's mother, who lives in Renton, Wash., was informed of her son's suspected actions and drove Connor back to Havre when he made contact with her last weekend, police Sgt. George Tate said.
Connor was arrested at 1:48 a.m. Sunday and charged with robbery. He is being held in the Hill County Detention Center in lieu of $10,000 bond. The man known as Steve is still at large. Tate described Steve as a stocky 5-foot-9 black man in his early 20s who wears his hair in cornrows.
Three men one former Box Elder High student and two Montana State University-Northern students initiated an all-night card game at 11 p.m. Thursday at the home of one of their parents, Tate said. A mutual female friend invited the Connor and Steve over to participate in the card game, according to Tate. They arrived somewhere between 3 and 4 a.m. One of the them actually played cards with the three men, Tate said.
"They didn't previously know each other," said Tate. "They got acquainted that morning by the mutual friend."
Connor and Steve, who Tate said were laid off from their Seattle jobs and visiting Connor's father in Havre for two days, left the residence about 4:30 a.m. to drive the mutual friend home. Betwen 5 or 5:30 a.m., both men unexpectedly returned to the home. Steve wore a black bandanna that covered his nose and mouth and was armed with a gun the victims described as an Uzi or a Tech-9, according to court documents.
"They just barged into the room and ordered them to get down on their face and empty their pockets," Tate said. "They were both shouting orders to stay down but it was Steve who had the gun."
One of the men had recently sold his vehicle and had let it be known at the card game that he had money on him, according to Tate. Connor and Steve probably targeted him because of his large sum of cash, Tate said.
"They knew he had the cash because he was kind of flaunting it during the card game," Tate said. "He had just sold his car for a decent sum of money. He must have deposited some of the money and kept the rest for personal expenses."
Right before the two left, Steve put his weapon by the victim's head and threatened to harm him if he reported the robbery, court documents said.
Connor, who had no prior arrests, told his father Thursday morning that he and Steve were heading back to Seattle in Connor's 2000 Chevrelet Tahoe, Tate said. Connor's father cooperated fully with police, who notified other law enforcement agencies about the suspects' vehicle and descriptions.
Connor's mother, who was also notified, ultimately convinced her son to turn himself in to authorities, according to Tate.
Since Connor has been in police custody, he has obtained the services of an attorney and not cooperated with police, Tate added.
Police have a John Doe warrant for Steve's arrest.