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Man arrested after making threats at Topeka business


A LaGrange man was arrested Wednesday following a search of the Topeka area by several law enforcement agencies. He allegedly made threats to another person in the parking lot of Champion Homes, a Topeka manufacturer of modular homes.

    The LaGrange County Sheriff’s Department received an emergency call shortly after 2 p.m. alleging that Joas Eicher, 28, of LaGrange had directly threatened another man. Eicher indicated that he was armed with a handgun. The incident occurred in the parking lot of Champion Homes in Topeka. Eicher then allegedly caused damage to a vehicle and left the property on foot.

    Police officers from the Indiana State Police, Topeka Police Dept., LaGrange County Sheriff’s Dept., Noble County Sheriff’s Dept., Ligonier Police Dept., Shipshewana Police Dept., and Rome City Police Dept. converged on the area in an attempt to locate Eicher.  LaGrange County Sheriff Terry Martin said the man who was threatened ran into the factory. The business was locked down during the search.

    Indiana State Police Detective Jeff Boyd said that at approximately 3 p.m., Eicher was located in downtown Topeka and taken into custody. He was not armed with a handgun. He was booked into the LaGrange County Jail on preliminary charges of Attempted Aggravated Battery, a Class B Felony, Intimidation, a Class D Felony, and Criminal Mischief, a Class A Misdemeanor.

    A probable cause hearing was scheduled for Nov. 15 in the LaGrange County Superior Court. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.