Man accused in casino purse snatching now facing charges of wrecking rental home

Wednesday 19th February 2020

A Boonville man being held on charges of attempted purse-snatching and armed robbery in his neighborhood was wrecking his home when police arrived to arrest him Feb. 7.

Michael L. Butler, 55, was charged Tuesday with felony property damage.

When Boonville Police Department officers arrived at his home in the 200 block of High Street to serve the warrant for purse snatching, they heard the sound of breaking glass and loud banging coming from the residence, patrolman Brandon Billington wrote in a probable cause statement.

Officers observed Butler break the front window of the residence with a hammer, Billington wrote. Butler was supposed to have vacated the residence by Feb. 1, according to the property owner. Damages are estimated at $5,000.

When he was arrested, Billington wrote, Butler admitted his involvement "in several robberies," Billington wrote.

Butler's bond was set at $10,000 on the property damage charge. That is in addition to $100,000 in bonds needed for him to be released on the purse-snatching and armed robbery charges.

Butler was on probation at the time of his arrest and court documents indicate he had not been in contact with his probation officer and had missed appointments since December.

Butler lives a short distance from the Isle of Capri casino and that is where he allegedly attempted to steal the purse.

A woman sitting on a bench on Feb. 2 outside the casino told officers a man asked her to go gamble with him, but she declined. He then grabbed the woman's purse and yelled "give me your [expletive] money."

The woman, who sustained a small cut to her pinky in the scuffle, identified Butler from a photo, according to court documents. A witness identified Butler and stated that he lived adjacent to the casino and hotel.

The armed robbery occurred Dec. 28 at Lucky's Eagle Stop, which is adjacent to the casino. An employee was tabulating lottery ticket sales Dec. 28 when a man entered the business, came up behind her, pressed a knife into her back and said "this is a robbery."

The employee opened the register and handed the robber the money, but he reportedly demanded more, so she also gave him a bank bag underneath the register.

The employee reportedly was familiar with Butler because he used to be a regular customer until he was warned against trespassing due to a shoplifting incident. Officers reviewed surveillance footage, which confirmed the employee's account.

Butler reportedly admitted to officers about the attempted robbery and robbery during his arrest, as well as his alleged drug and alcohol use.

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