A Waterloo man was arrested Tuesday evening in De Soto after allegedly commandeering a West Des Moines man’s vehicle with the West Des Moines man in it.
Norman Frank Gross Jr., 32, of 321 E. Eighth St., Waterloo, was charged with second-degree robbery, operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent, false imprisonment, first-offense OWI, first-offense possession of a controlled substance-marijuana, assault causing bodily injury or mental illness, open container, no valid driver’s license and defective tires.
The incident began about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, when the 26-year-old West Des Moines victim reported a motor vehicle theft in progress at a convenience store on the 1200 block of Guthrie Street in De Soto.
According to court records, a Dallas County Deputy Sheriff responded and located the 2003 Chevrolet Impala in the parking lot of the convenience store. The victim was in the vehicle, and Gross was inside the store.
When questioned, Gross told the deputy “that he was hanging out with his friend,” the victim, “and driving around,” and they “got into a verbal argument because” the victim told Gross that he “was going to leave Gross in De Soto to go hang out with his girlfriend.”
Gross said “that he refused to exit Larson’s vehicle because he did not want to be stranded,” according to court records.
The deputy spoke with the victim, who said “that he was parked in the parking lot of a Hy-Vee in West Des Moines when Gross approached his car” and “then forced his way into” the Impala.
According to court records, the victim told the deputy “that Gross struck him several times and caused bodily injury.” The deputy observed “a bruised right cheek and chin” on the victim’s face “and cuts to his lips and mouth.”
The victim told the deputy “that he was forced to get into the passenger seat of his car, and then Gross started driving him around.” Gross “took control of the vehicle and would not let him leave,” the victim said, according to court records.
The victim also claimed “that Gross took some of his money and used it to buy illicit drugs.” The deputy allegedly found “crumbs of marijuana” on the victim’s person and in his car, and the convenience store clerk allegedly “found a roach of marijuana that came from Gross.”
The victim told the deputy “that he was scared to run because he thought that Gross would chase him down.”
The deputy arrested Gross and transported him to the Dallas County Jail, where Gross “submitted a PBT that was positive for alcohol and gave several indicators of being impaired by a drug.”
Gross is held in the Dallas County Jail on a $15,000 cash or surety bond. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing April 24 in Dallas County District Court.
Gross was convicted of first-offense domestic abuse assault and obstruction of emergency communications in July 2017 in Des Moines County District Court, and he was convicted of assault causing bodily injury or mental illness and carrying weapons in June 2018 in Black Hawk County District Court,
*A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.