A man accused of robbing a Sturtevant gas station is also facing charges of child neglect after he left his two children home along during the robbery, according to a criminal complaint by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office.

Eric Eisel, 26, of Racine, was charged with robbery, obstructing an officer and two charges of child neglect. If convicted of all charges, Eisel faces up to 17 years, three months in prison and/or fined up to $80,000.

According to the criminal complaint, Eisel wore a Spiderman mask while robbing the owner of the Phillips 66 gas station, 8020 Durand Ave., at knife point. The owner told police that he heard his doorbell ring and looked up to see a man covered from head to toe and wearing a Spiderman mask walking into the store, then going behind the counter toward the register.

The owner asked Eisel what he was doing and he told him: “This is a robbery.” Eisel ordered the man to open the register, but the man walked out of the store as fast as he could and told a customer pumping gas to call the police because he was being robbed. The man didn’t go back into the store, but Eiesel came to the door and told him to open the register. The owner told Eisel to go outside and sit in the parking lot and he would open the register.

Eisel went outside, sat down and waited for the man to open the register. Meanwhile, the owner went inside, locked the door and opened the register. Eisel stood up and walked towards the door. The owner told Eisel if he walked any closer, he wouldn’t open the door. Seeing police squads, Eisel ran away, and dropped the knife and cash that he had taken from the store. The owner took the money — which totaled $190.50 — Eisel had dropped and put it back in the register.

Fleeing on foot, officers from multiple jurisdictions, including the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department K-9 unit Klaus, searched for Eisel. They found him inside a green Toyota Camry with a cell phone and a knife sheath, according to the criminal complaint.

During the investigation, Sturtevant Police found Eisel’s knife at the gas station. He told police that this was his knife, but someone must have stolen it, according to the criminal complaint.

During the interview, Eisel started to cry and told police he left his two children — a five-year-old girl and a seven-year-old boy — home alone to go drink. Police found the two children home alone inside Eisel’s home. They asked why he would leave his children home alone and he told police he needed to think.

He told police he was sleeping in his car because he drank too much and he had consumed two bottles of brandy. But police noted that he didn’t smell of alcohol and a preliminary breathalyzer test showed that he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.0 percent. When asked what he was doing at the time of the robbery, he said he was sleeping in his car.

Eisel told police he couldn’t believe he had left his kids home alone “for this.”

He continued to deny that he had robbed the gas station. Police matched the shoes the robbery suspect was wearing to the shoes Eisel was wearing at the time of his arrest.

Eisel is being held on a $10,000 bond. A preliminary hearing has been set for 9 a.m. Sept. 2 in front of Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.

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