Driver drags man 100 feet after snatching his laptop in Oakland
Finding out that two men had grabbed a man's laptop computer as he walked several blocks from the University of Pittsburgh campus made freshman Jennifer Odle rethink whether she could be a target.
“I've always thought of safety more in terms of my personal safety, not so much about my belongings,” Odle, 18, of White Oak said on Wednesday as she worked on her laptop outside the Carnegie Library.
Josh Moalemi, 26, told police that he was walking through the Sunoco parking lot on North Craig Street about 8:25 p.m. Tuesday when two men in a silver Pontiac Grand Prix pulled up near him.
The passenger, identified as Dwight Hester, 43, grabbed Moalemi's $1,800 MacBook laptop and said he would give it back for $300, according to a criminal complaint.
Moalemi told police that he reached into the car to get the laptop when the driver, Donald Boyd, 56, of the Hill District, sped off, dragging him about 100 feet.
Moalemi was conscious when police found him on Bayard Street with injuries to his right knee, police said. He also broke his foot when he fell after being sandwiched between two cars, according to the complaint.
Paramedics took him to UPMC Presbyterian, where he showed detectives a partial license plate photo he had taken with his iPhone, police said.
Two officers spotted the Pontiac about 9:40 p.m. in the Hill District with Boyd at the wheel, the complaint stated. Police showed Moalemi a photo array, and he identified Boyd as the driver.
Boyd was charged with robbery and other counts. He was in the Allegheny County Jail on $100,000 bail.
Court records show Hester has not been charged.
The incident occurred almost 48 hours after two men with a BB gun robbed 10 people during an hourlong spree in the same area.
Derrick Bragg, 42, and Keith Williams, 24, both of Oakland, were arrested and charged with the holdups on Sunday night along Bayard and Craig streets and Centre and Melwood avenues.
Pitt spokesman John Fedele said students are provided with a detailed list of tips to avoid becoming a crime victim.
University officials did not return messages seeking further comment on crimes on and around campus.
Pitt freshman Zach Schaffer, 18, of North Wales in Montgomery County thinks the fact that most college students carry laptops and other expensive devices could make them targets.
“I think the university does everything it can to make us safe — I mean you see cops patrolling everywhere — so avoiding becoming a target comes down to being smart,” said Schaffer, who was taking photos in Schenley Plaza on Wednesday afternoon.
“I definitely wouldn't go out at night carrying a camera or other expensive equipment,” he said
Pitt sophomore Ariel Cohn, 19, of Long Island, N.Y., said that although there is “definitely a strong police presence on campus,” she would like to see more emergency call boxes.
“I generally feel very safe, but I do worry when I'm walking back from class at night,” Cohn said.
Margaret Harding and Tony LaRussaare staff writers for Trib Total Media. Harding can be reached at 412-380-8519 or email@example.com. LaRussa can be reached at 412-320-7987 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Founder of Z&M Cycle Sales in Hempfield killed in Florida motorcycle crash
- Starkey: Tomlin lived in his fears
- Steelers receiver Wheaton takes advantage of opportunity in breakout game
- Penguins’ reshuffled top line of Crosby, Dupuis, Kunitz looks familiar
- Increasing player salaries pinch financial flexibility of Pirates
- New Florence man charged with killing police officer
- NFL notebook: Report: No tears in Gronkowski’s knee
- Steelers notebook: Bryant confident in backup Jones if Big Ben can’t play
- West Virginia notebook: Mountaineers could factor into Kansas State bowl situation
- Opening day of deer season draws better crowds than a year ago
- School bus heavily damaged in Homewood fire