One of two men accused of robbing a group of people gathered in a Moreno Valley park on Halloween night was charged Monday with multiple counts of armed robbery.

Gary Arthur Gonzalez, 23, of Moreno Valley was arrested Thursday alongside his alleged cohort, 36-year-old Gilbert Anthony Gonzales, also of Moreno Valley.

Gary Gonzalez was charged with eight counts of robbery. Gilbert Gonzales, who is free on his own recognizance, has not yet been charged.

The defendant pleaded not guilty during an arraignment before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Charles Koosed, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for Dec. 14 at the Riverside Hall of Justice and ordered that the young man be held in lieu of $240,000 bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.

According to sheriff’s Sgt. Robert Martinez, the pair allegedly confronted eight people socializing under a gazebo in Celebration Park on Morgan Avenue about 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 31.

“One of the (suspects) pointed a firearm at the group, demanded their property and stole multiple items,” Martinez said.

He said that the men fled the location immediately afterward, and the victims, who were not injured, called 911.

Patrol deputies scoured the area unsuccessfully in an effort to find the bandits.

Martinez said that detectives eventually developed leads pointing to Gonzalez and his friend as the alleged perpetrators.

They were taken into custody without incident in the 14000 block of Province Circle Thursday, the sergeant said.

Gonzalez has no documented prior felony or misdemeanor convictions in Riverside County.

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