Originally created 10/31/00

Police arrest two in alleged robbery



AIKEN - Two Aiken man have been charged in an alleged violent burglary and sexual assault at Royal Inn, where two hotel guests said armed men kicked in their door Sunday, covered their heads and attacked and robbed them, according to authorities.

Tonnie Nathaniel Baldwin, 23, of Dallas Circle, was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, assault and battery, two counts of pointing and presenting a firearm, first-degree burglary, and armed robbery. Gehazel Jamal Muse, 21, was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, armed robbery and first-degree burglary.

The victims, a 20-year-old Graniteville woman and a 23-year-old Aiken man, told police they were asleep at the hotel on Richland Avenue West when the suspects kicked in the hotel door at about 3 a.m. The suspects covered the victims' heads, assaulted them and took their personal belongings, police said.

The female victim was allegedly fondled. She told police the suspects went through her wallet and took her money and identification card, warning her not to report them to anyone because they knew her identity and could hurt her.

Nearby hotel guests apparently heard the commotion and called 911. Aiken public safety officers said they arrived to find the two suspects leaving the room.

Police said Mr. Muse dropped a semiautomatic handgun and surrendered. The other suspect fled, but he was captured nearby at a Smile Gas Station.

Both men remained in the Aiken County Detention Center on Monday night.

Reach Greg Rickabaugh at (803) 279-6895.