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Two men rob Bloomington man for his bottle of wine

Two men were arrested Wednesday behind the Farm Bureau Insurance on West 3rd Street after using a knife to take a Bloomington man’s bottle of wine. 

William Burpo, 50, was arrested and charged with robbery, battery and intimidation. James Payne, 54, was arrested and charged with robbery. 

The victim said that before the robbery, a woman invited him to a grassy area behind Farm Bureau Insurance to hang out. Once he was there, witnesses said they saw Burpo punching the victim in the face multiple times and holding a folding pocket knife to his throat. 

Meanwhile, Payne grabbed a bottle of white wine from the victim’s bag. Once witnesses called Bloomington Police Department and officers arrived, they found the two men still in the field, with Burpo carrying the wine bottle, Capt. Steve Kellams said. 

Officers spoke to the victim, who said the wine was his. He had a small cut above his right eye from Burpo hitting him, police said.

Officers could not find a knife, but witnesses confirmed that Burpo had one. While being interviewed by police, Burpo and Payne claimed the victim had been highly intoxicated and was bothering them, so they pushed him. 

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