Defendant has criminal history, records show
Apparently unperturbed at the prospect of being recorded while attempting to commit a felony, Alfonso Barajas reportedly turned to and smiled at a surveillance camera inside Lares Fashion and Western Wear shortly after passing a note to the store's owner demanding money.
He's now facing more charges.
Police arrested Barajas, 25, of Waukesha about two blocks from Lares Fashion, 245 W. Main St., just minutes after the attempted robbery Monday afternoon, Jan. 16. He was charged Tuesday, Jan. 17, in Waukesha County Circuit Court with attempted robbery with the threat of force and three counts of misdemeanor bail jumping.
One day later, he was charged with disorderly conduct and three more counts of bail jumping for reportedly threatening to shoot up a local bar.
According to a criminal complaint, Barajas passed a note to Lares Fashion owner Irineo Lares demanding money around 3 p.m. Monday. Lares refused to give any to Barajas and instead triggered an alarm.
Lares told Barajas he was being recorded on a surveillance camera during the incident, the complaint said, and Barajas for some reason turned to the camera, took off the hat he was wearing and smiled.
Barajas reportedly told Lares that he needed to hand over the money for protection from a Mexican criminal organization called "Zetas," which routinely tries to extort money from businesses, according to the complaint.
Lares was unharmed and inside a "safety room" when the robbery occurred, an alcove he constructed after his store was robbed twice in about a three-week span in summer 2014.
According to the second complaint, Barajas threatened to shoot up Bosco's Social Club, 260 W. Main St., on New Year's Eve after bouncers there refused to let him into the bar. He had previously been banned from Bosco's for altercations with other patrons, the complaint said.
Barajas spontaneously told officers he "doesn't shoot up clubs" when being questioned about the Lares incident, the complaint said, which possibly triggered the investigation that led to the additional charges.
Online court records indicate that Barajas has three other pending criminal cases against him, and two prior criminal convictions for THC possession and resisting or obstructing an officer. The bail jumping charges appear to stem from the open cases.
His next court hearing in both new cases is scheduled for Jan. 27. If convicted, Barajas could face up to more than 10 years behind bars and tens of thousands of dollars in fines.