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“I have the Devil in me:” Man accused of terrorizing south side businesses admits to January crime spree

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MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office has charged 22-year-old Jonathan Aponte-Santiago with 11 counts of armed robbery and a single count first-degree recklessly endangering safety. This, for his alleged involvement in crimes that took place from January 7th through January 31st, the most high-profile of which was an armed robbery/shots fired incident at the Chivas Bar that was caught on camera.

Jonathan Aponte-Santiago

Jonathan Aponte-Santiago

According to the criminal complaint filed against Aponte-Santiago, he is accused of robbing the following establishments in January:

  • Marathon Gas Station, 1227 W. Oklahoma Ave., Milwaukee (Jan. 7)
  • George Webb Restaurant, 2028 W. Mitchell St., Milwaukee (Jan. 11)
  • Back Draught Tavern, 3631 S. Clement Ave., Milwaukee (Jan. 21)
  • Class Reunion Bar, 2204 W. Forest Home Ave., Milwaukee (Jan. 22)
  • JJ Stripes Bar, 3103 S. 15th Pl., Milwaukee (Jan. 22)
  • Last Drop Tavern, 1979 S. 15th St., Milwaukee (Jan. 27)
  • Reyna's Tavern, 2566 S. 6th St., Milwaukee (Jan. 28)
  • Park Place Sports Bar, 2079 S. 8th St., Milwaukee (Jan. 28)
  • Denny's Restaurant, 4925 S. Howell Ave., Milwaukee (Jan. 28)
  • Chivas Tavern, 644 S. 9th St., Milwaukee (Jan. 31)

Investigators say Aponte-Santiago admitted to most of the crimes, involving approximately 30 victims. He was arrested on February 1st.

Milwaukee police went public after the Chivas Tavern robbery, sharing surveillance video from the incident.

Officials say Aponte-Santiago entered the business very early on January 31st and drank at the bar. A few minutes later, he displayed a handgun, robbed several victims of their money, and then shot the gun into a security camera monitor. No one was injured in the robbery -- and Aponte-Santiago fled from the scene on foot. He was arrested the next day.

Chivas Bar armed robbery

Pablo Maicias, the bar manager at Chivas, described the terrifying moments that happened as he closed the bar on January 31st. A man who ordered two Coronas wasn't going to leave peacefully at bar time.

"He took the gun. He say 'give me the money.' And I give him the money and then I go sit down on the chair," Maicias said.

A customer then pleaded with the suspect.

"Please don't kill him. Please don't kill him," Maicias said.

Pablo Maicias

Pablo Maicias

As Maicias sat in a chair, the suspect noticed the monitor for the surveillance cameras. He fired four times, smashing the screen.

Maicias was nearly struck in the head.

"A bullet comes one inch to my head. It came that close to my head -- one inch," Maicias said.

The video shows dust fly from the impact of the shots that were fired.

"Real close. Real close," Maicias said.

Armed robbery, shots fired at Chivas Bar

Armed robbery, shots fired at Chivas Bar

FOX6 News spoke with a worker at the Marathon Gas Station on Oklahoma Avenue. Aponte-Santiago is accused in an incident there on January 7th.

Marathon Gas Station on Oklahoma Avenue

Marathon Gas Station on Oklahoma Avenue

"He was looking like a neighborhood guy. And I make sure myself he was a neighborhood guy. He has a big rifle with him. He pointed a gun at a customer and then threw a bag to me, 'put the money in there,'" the worker said.

Police say Aponte-Santiago also pointed that gun at the gas station clerk.

"It was terrifying," the gas station worker said.

This gas station worker said he's happy Aponte-Santiago was taken into custody, and that charges have been filed.

"I am pretty happy and I really appreciate the cops. I really appreciate the Milwaukee Police Department for that," the gas station worker said.

Aponte-Santiago is also accused of carjacking a person on S. 34th St. on January 28th. The criminal complaint indicates the victim was simply parking his car when Aponte-Santiago "pointed a gun at him and took his car."

Denny's Restaurant near General Mitchell International Airport

Denny's Restaurant near General Mitchell International Airport

In one of the latest incidents in this criminal complaint, Aponte-Santiago entered a Denny's Restaurant near General Mitchell International Airport. He admitted he robbed the restaurant, pointed a gun at a waiter, took money from a register and told the waiter to go in the back of the restaurant and open the safe. The complaint indicates Aponte-Santiago was "afraid the waiter was going to disarm him and he shot the waiter. He then ran out with $400-$500." The waiter survived the shooting. The complaint says, "When asked about how he felt about shooting the victim, Aponte-Santiago stated, 'Nothing. I felt normal. I felt as if I didn't even shoot him.'"

On that same day, Aponte-Santiago is accused of robbing a bar (Reyna's Tavern), and allegedly saying: "I have the Devil inside of me and I have no problem killing or shooting you" before firing a shot.

The complaint indicates there was video in connection with just about every one of these crimes.

Police also recovered a gun in the residence Aponte-Santiago was living, and fingerprints from that gun that were identified as belonging to Aponte-Santiago.

Each armed robbery count against Aponte-Santiago carries with it a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and $100,000 in fines upon conviction. The endangering safety charge has a maximum sentence of 12-and-a-half years in prison and $25,000 in fines.


  • Joe

    Unreal…so sad. He was just about to turn his life around too. I feel horrible for him….that he didn’t have his brains blown out by a gun toting citizen during one of these encounters. Well, the good news is, he can spend the rest of his illegitimate life getting his brains f’d out by his cell mate and his friends, as he gets passed around like a plate of milk and cookies at a homeless shelter. Have fun whistling out of your butt p.o.s.

  • Hooptie Pete

    If the wall had been built before the anchor baby was born there would have been no victims. what are the odds either he or his parents are illegals? I know trolly tom wants to make this a sanctuary city because no whites will vote for him so he has to stack the deck.

      • Pam

        Oh, my the ignorance in your statement floors me Hooptie Pete. Might want to blame the president of Puerto Rico while you at it too Lmao By the way since you clearly don’t understand PUERTO RICAN’S are American that would mean Obama. You might want to study up before you attempt to make such a moronic statement.


    My guess is this guy did not have a permit to carry. You should do your homework before you make such stupid comments.

  • Fred

    I didn’t read anywhere in the article that said the perp had a CCW permit….I’m sure this libertard media would have been all over that if it was a fact……
    Just a question for you Libertard…do you torture small animals to make yourself feel like a man?

  • A yooper

    Libertard, you are one odd duck. I am very sure this dirt bag din’t have a permit to carry a gun. As far as I know I think it is illegal to consume alcohol and carry your gun. I don’t think I have ever read an article of a person with a permit getting into it with anyone. I am guessing our liberal media would hush up the story.

  • Antonio the sicilian

    These animals are dangerous. They must be hunted as animals and merciless punishment must be given. In the old days they would boil some of these sociopaths in olive oil. Not the extra virgin but the lower quality stuff.

  • Libs R Lazy and Ignorant

    What a POS. It’s too bad some CCW holder didn’t eliminate the threat permanently. He doesn’t deserve to ever walk our streets again.

  • Mr0311

    Im interested to know more from the videos I saw, he has wayyy too good of form to be a typically street thug. Definitely was trained how to use weapons or prior Military/Police service. I wonder what he was really planning, could of been a lot more dangerous than your standard piece of trash…

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