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Three charged for taking Wauwatosa family hostage in violent robbery

Posted at 5:14 PM, Jul 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-30 18:18:09-04

A family of five was held hostage during a violent robbery right inside their own home earlier this month. 

Prosecutors say a team of criminals planned to steal tens of thousands of dollars.

“They came here with the intent to steal from these people did some horrific things and then left,” said Wauwatosa Police Lt. Jim Mastrocola. 

Now, three people are charged with taking the family hostage, even hitting a child. 

Police say it was a complex investigation, with twists and turns and lots of help from other agencies. 

They say it’s good old fashioned police work that put the suspects behind bars. 

The family moved to Wauwatosa from Saudi Arabia and became the target of a vicious crime. Police say the suspects have and utter disregard for human life. 

“The fact that they violently assaulted, gagged, bound and threatened to kill the victims speaks to the disgusting nature of this crime and the character of the suspects,” said Capt. Brian Zalewski. 

It all started at a Days Inn in West Allis, where 36-year-old Nicole Kauper worked. The family asked her for some assistance. 

“Made reference to and asked for to see if they could use a safe because they had a large sum of money that they wanted to keep safe,” said Mastrocola. 

Kauper told her friends about the money. 36-year-old Antwuan Hardy and 34-year-old Brandon Lane staked out the hotel and watched the family until they left for their new Wauwatosa home. 
“They felt they could take advantage of them,” Mastrocola said. 

On the night of July 12, police said Hardy and Lane broke in armed with guns. The suspects got physical with the five victims. 

The criminal complaint says they, "grabbed her by the hair and pushed her against a wall and then the floor, pressed a gun against her neck while she was face down and told her she was going to die."  

“Literally being held hostage in their own home their faces covered hearing their family members screaming a 5-year-old child being assaulted a 62-year-old woman being assaulted,” Zalewski said. 

Police found the 5-year-old "bound, gagged and laying on the floor unconscious."

 “This is a three-hour ordeal where these people were tied up while this robbery and this false imprisonment took place,” Mastrocola said. 

The 5-year-old suffered brain-bleeds in four locations. 

Police say he physically is doing O.K. We reached out to Days Inn for a comment, but have not heard back.