Crime Watch 8

Witness: Video shows Texas Roadhouse shooting victim target of harassment

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)- A new video has surfaced which may give some insight into what led up to the fatal shooting involving a biker gang at Texas Roadhouse, Sunday night.

Police were called to the restaurant 710 W. Washington Center Road on a report of a shooting around 9:30 p.m. Hours later, 29-year-old Andrew Cassaday was arrested and charged with the murder of 28-year-old Jeff Lute.

A man who was with Lute last said they were leaving the restaurant when they were surrounded by 14 men who were part of the Steel Horse Rebels bike gang. Lute fired a shot at one of the men after being assaulted then Cassaday shot and killed Lute, according to probable cause documents.

A witness, who asked to remain anonymous, said Lute had been harassed by members of the bike gang for months. He said the feud apparently started months ago when Lute decided to get out of the biker gang.

“Two individuals started stabbing the tires, harassing him, and antagonizing him and inciting violence,” he said.

He said the members of the group weren’t going to let him go easy; they threatened Lute’s life and slashed his tires. He said since January Lute filed multiple police reports.

Home surveillance video of someone slashing Lute’s tires was released exclusively to Newschannel 15. The video does not show the person’s face but Lute’s friend said the person in the video is Cassaday. He claims police have a better tape that clearly shows his face.

“[The police] have all the videos of these guys slashing tires,” he said. “They should have been in jail. They should have been behind bars and all this would have been avoided. Jeff would still be alive.”

According to the friend, Lute’s tires had been slashed at least four times. He said at least 6 different police reports of vandalism and harassment were filed with Fort Wayne Police Department. They were assured by the detective on the case that it would be handled, but still no charges have been filed.

Six police report numbers were provided to Newschannel 15, but the request for copies of the police reports were denied citing an “ongoing police investigation.”

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Shoe art by Kokomo native stolen from northern Indiana museum

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WISH) — A shoe by an Indiana native was stolen Saturday from a northern Indiana art museum.

South Bend Museum of Art is seeking help to find the thief of a shoe from the piece titled “Welcome Knives,” part of an exhibit by Kokomo native Chris Francis that’s traveled to other U.S. museums. His work has been described as wearable architecture.

The shoe disappeared between 2 and 5 p.m. Saturday while the museum was open. The museum staff and city police are reviewing surveillance video from the Century Center to gain a lead. South Bend’s show called “Chris Francis: Modern Bespoke 21st Century Shoe Art” is in the downtown Century Center through April 5.

Francis, who grew up in Kokomo and now lives in Los Angeles, said in a statement that he was “saddened to be informed that someone has chosen to steal the piece ‘Welcome Knives’ from the exhibition. The shoes exhibited are all documented and catalogued works of art that have shown in many museums. Every shoe in the exhibition is one of a kind, with no others in existence making them very different than shoes we find in stores.”

Francis has created shoes for runway shows and for celebrities, including Lady Gaga and the members of Kiss and The Sex Pistols.

His work was displayed late last year on the Purdue University campus.

Anyone with information was asked to call the South Bend Police Department at (574) 235.9201 or contact the South Bend Museum of Art via email at info@southbendart.org, or through the museum’s social media accounts: Facebook, @SouthBendMuseumofArt; Twitter, @southbendart; Instagram, @southbendart.

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