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updated: 3/24/2011 3:20 PM

Antioch Twp. men deny beating 72-year-old

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A pair of Antioch Township men pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges they entered the apartment of a 72-year-old man and beat him.

Barry Pederson and Michael Ruehle, both 23, are charged with home invasion and aggravated battery in the Feb. 19 attack.

Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Eric Kalata said the pair went into the victim's residence in the 26000 block of West Riverside Place, around 12:30 a.m. through an unlocked door.

The victim was asleep in a recliner, Kalata said, and both suspects began beating him in the face and head with their fists.

The victim's roommate was awakened by the commotion, rushed into the room and screamed at the attackers.

Kalata said Pederson and Ruehle both fled, but the victim's roommate knew Ruehle and was able to pick out his photograph from a police lineup.

The victim, who suffered cuts and bruises in the attack, told police he had seen a woman Ruehle was dating earlier in the day and had mentioned he had cashed a large check.

Ruehle, of the 22000 block of North Lake Avenue, was located by police at the woman's residence in Grayslake on Feb. 22, Kalata said, and Ruehle identified Pederson as his accomplice.

Pederson, of the 42000 block of West North Avenue, was arrested later the same day.

Both men are held on $500,000 bond and face mandatory prison sentences of six to 30 years if convicted.

Associate Judge Theodore Potkonjak ordered both to appear in court April 15.