Police charge man with Taftville robbery

Norwich – Police arrested a man this week who was allegedly among a group of men that lured a man to a Taftville home under the pretense of a drug deal and robbed him.

On the day he was to be released from jail on an unrelated charge, Michael L. Baker, 25, was charged Tuesday with first-degree burglary, first-degree unlawful restraint and fourth-degree larceny.

In a warrant for Baker’s arrest, police allege he waited to rob a man who came to 31 Terrace Ave. on the pretense of selling prescription painkillers. When the victim arrived the afternoon of Jan. 10, police said, Baker and a group of masked men beat the man with brass knuckles and robbed him of the pills, a $1,000 silver necklace, a $2,000 watch, an iPhone and $800 cash. The man suffered black eyes and bruising to the face and neck, police said, and was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

“Sorry it’s got to go down like this, but I need the money,” one man said during the assault, the warrant says. “Don’t look up, don’t look at me.”

Baker is held in lieu of a $250,000 bond and is scheduled to appear Dec. 20 in Norwich Superior Court.

Baker previously served prison time after being convicted of accessory to reckless burning. The charge stemmed from the 2010 arson of the Capehart Mill in Norwich, a blaze that took three days and 7 million gallons of water to extinguish.

Baker, who admitted to being a lookout during the April 27, 2010, fire, was one of six charged in that crime.

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