RANCHO CUCAMONGA — Two men have pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and other criminal charges in connection with a home-invasion robbery in Ontario.
Mikkos Dewayne Brown, 27, and Cecil Phillip Reyes, 37, are accused of taking jewelry and nearly $6,000 after breaking into a home on Dec. 22 in the 1200 block of South Sultana Avenue.
Brown and Reyes, both of Los Angeles, allegedly assaulted a married couple that lives in the home after prying open a back door at about 11:15 a.m.
According to a police report contained in their court file, one of the men allegedly tied up a woman who lived there and nearly suffocated her by tying a bathroom mat around her head.
The other alleged robber choked a man who lived at the home and threw him face-first to the ground. The man told police he feared he would be killed, according to the police report.
In a four-page hand-written note to the victims contained in the police report, Brown apologized for the robbery and complained of financial hardship.
“I was forced to rob somebody’s parents and had no business (to) do it,” Brown wrote. “I really do apologize for my wrongdoings. Please can you accept my apology and lets move on with our beautiful lives.”
Brown and Reyes pleaded not guilty to criminal charges Tuesday in West Valley Superior Court. The men are each charged with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of robbery, and one count each of elder abuse and kidnapping.
Brown and Reyes each remain jailed in lieu of $1.75 million at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, and are next due in court Jan. 3.
In interviews with police, Brown said that he was from Los Angeles, but had been staying in the Ontario area while completing maintenance work on a home.
One of the married couple’s neighbors told police that Reyes is friends with the couple’s son, and was outside the home the day before the robbery speaking to the couple’s son.
The woman who lives at the home told police that at the time of the robbery she was in the kitchen cooking.
The alleged robbers grabbed her first after using a crowbar to pry open a door at the back of the kitchen. The woman told police that one of the robbers took her to the bathroom and bound her arms and legs with tape.
The robber forced a washcloth into the woman’s mouth and wrapped a floormat around her head, which he tightened and taped in place, according to the police report.
The woman’s husband told police he was in the living room watching TV when the robbers burst in through the door at the back of the kitchen.
One of the robbers choked his neck with both hands for about 30 seconds and threw him onto the floor. The robber smothered his face with a pillow and bound his hands with tape, according to the police report.
The man estimated the robbers ransacked the house for about five minutes before leaving, according to the police report.
About a half hour after the robbery, a police officer saw Brown and Reyes walking in the area of Nevada Street and Plum Avenue, about a half-mile from the home that was robbed.
The men gave the officer consent to be searched, and the officer found a crow bar, thousands of dollars in cash, and foreign coins, according to the police report.
Brown and Reyes were booked after the victims confirmed that the items recovered from Brown and Reyes were their missing belongings, according to the police report.