Helena police have a suspect in custody following an armed robbery Saturday evening at Taco John’s on North Montana Avenue.
Dispatchers received a call just after 10:45 p.m. stating that someone had robbed the restaurant at gunpoint. Assistant Police Chief Steve Hagen said the suspect aimed a gun at employees, demanded money and forced them into the restaurant’s walk-in cooler. No injuries were reported.
Shortly after the call, a Helena officer arrested a man matching the suspect's description approximately one block from the restaurant. The suspect was identified as 43-year-old Rudy Lopez of Helena. A handgun and the stolen money were recovered, according to Hagen.
Lopez has been charged with robbery, two counts of assault with a weapon, probation violation, and two counts of aggravated kidnapping for allegedly forcing the employees into the cooler. He has prior convictions of attempted sexual assault without consent, criminal possession of dangerous drugs and intimidation.
Hagen said Saturday's armed robbery remains under investigation.