Police arrest suspect in Hardee's assault and robbery

News-DemocratJuly 16, 2013 

— Police have arrested a man they believe attacked and tried to rob an 87-year-old man at a Hardee's restaurant.

Eric R. Manthei, 22, of Mount Vernon, was arrested and charged in connection with the Saturday morning assault. According to police, Manthei followed an older customer into the restroom at the Hardee's on Belt Line Road. He is accused of beating the man and attempting to steal his wallet.

Manthei then allegedly fled in a white Ford Escape with a female companion.

"He's not from our area, he was just traveling through and saw an opportunity," Maj. Tom Coppotelli said.

He did not get away with the victim's wallet, Coppotelli said. Video and photos of the suspects were released to the public, and officers found that they had been in a local business earlier, which led to identification.

Manthei was charged with two counts of aggravated battery, a Class 3 felony, and attempted robbery, a Class 2 felony.

The aggravating factor was the age of the victim, Coppotelli said. He said Manthei is 6 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs 240 pounds, while the victim was 87 years old.

The woman was not charged and has not been implicated in any crime, Coppotelli said. "She denies any knowledge and he has stated she didn't know what he did," Coppotelli said.

Madison County Associate Judge Keith Jensen set bail at $150,000, and Manthei remained in custody Tuesday at the Collinsville Police Department.

Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at edonald@bnd.com or 618-239-2507.

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