Police: Tulane University robber admits to previous holdup on campus _lowres

Tre Spadoni

A young man accused of robbing three students at Tulane University last weekend has told detectives that he committed a similar stickup two days earlier targeting another student on campus, according to a New Orleans Police Department report.

Police said late Friday that they also have linked 20-year-old Tre Spadoni to a third armed robbery that happened this week in Mid-City.

A day after his arrest, Spadoni remained behind bars Friday in lieu of $555,000 bail. He faces a laundry list of charges, including several counts of armed robbery, aggravated assault with a firearm and false imprisonment with a weapon.

The first robbery happened Oct. 8 outside the Sharp Hall dormitory. Police said Spadoni confessed to robbing a 19-year-old student of several hundred dollars and forcing him to visit several ATMs on campus in an attempt to withdraw more cash. It was the victim’s birthday, and one of the items stolen from him was a $100 gift card.

Court filings made public Friday offered several new details about the Oct. 10 holdup that rattled the university. According to an arrest warrant, three students had been studying at the university’s Lavin-Bernick Center about 3:40 p.m. when Spadoni approached them and lifted up his shirt to reveal a BB gun that police said resembled a real firearm.

“If you draw any attention to us, I will kill you,” Spadoni warned the students, according to the warrant.

Spadoni ordered the students to place their cellphones and IDs on a table. He photographed the IDs and “then began to have a conversation with the victims about unrelated topics and how (he) was offended by the school work they were currently working on,” the warrant says.

Spadoni told the students “he wanted 50 percent of everything they had” and forced two of the students to go to ATMs. He took several hundred dollars from the group.

One of the students managed to send a friend a computer message asking for help after Spadoni ordered her “to act like she was doing school work,” the warrant says.

Spadoni did not point the BB gun at the students and left after placing the stolen cash in a salad container. “The subject fled the location on foot as police were approaching the scene,” the warrant says.

On Wednesday, investigators caught a break after a university employee recognized Spadoni in a surveillance photograph that had been distributed to the media. The employee knew him from the Grow Dat Youth Farm in City Park, where Spadoni previously worked, according to the warrant.

At least one of the victims later identified Spadoni in a photo lineup prepared by police. He was taken into custody Thursday.

Spadoni also is accused of robbing four people at gunpoint about 7:50 p.m. Wednesday in the 3200 block of Cleveland Avenue, police said Friday.

The victims had been sitting in their car when Spadoni robbed them, police said.

Follow Jim Mustian on Twitter, @JimMustian.