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New Kensington man accused of forcing woman to drive him around, stealing from her

| Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 12:36 a.m.

Police charged a New Kensington man with kidnapping and theft because they say he forced a woman to drive him around the city on Friday.

Police arrested Andre Issac Johnson, 23, of Farm Hill Court at a relative's North Bluff Drive residence on Friday after the “distraught” woman called 911 about 5 p.m., Patrolman Anthony Grillo wrote in a criminal complaint.

She said she was meeting a man to buy heroin in a parking lot behind UniFirst Corp. near Industrial Boulevard when Johnson approached and spoke with the other man, Grillo wrote.

According to the criminal complaint:

Johnson then demanded a ride from the victim, despite her protests that she was on her way to pick up her children.

Johnson allegedly made several threats, including that he would pistol whip her, insinuating that he had a handgun, although the criminal complaint did not indicate the victim saw a gun.

When the victim reportedly threatened to call police, Johnson allegedly told her, “I own the police, we pay off the police,” and waved to a police officer sitting in a nearby police car when the victim stopped at the traffic light at the intersection of Seventh Street and Stevenson Boulevard.

Johnson allegedly ordered the woman to drive up Route 780 to Martin Avenue and North Bluff Drive. In the 1100 block of North Bluff Drive, she told police, he fled her vehicle with her designer purse and a bottle of prescription medication.

Police did not find Johnson during an initial search of the building that the victim identified. After police took the victim to the police station and she identified a photo of Johnson, they returned to the area and found him.

Police said the victim's purse was found outside the home, and they found her pill bottle and two bundles of suspected heroin in Johnson's pants pocket.

Johnson is charged with felony counts of kidnapping, possession with the intent to deliver drugs and drug possession, plus theft, terroristic threats and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Johnson remained in the Westmoreland County jail on Tuesday in lieu of $25,000 bond. He faces a preliminary hearing before District Judge Frank J. Pallone Jr. tentatively scheduled for Thursday.

Court records indicate Johnson is on probation after he pleaded guilty to drug possession and trespassing in October.

Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4673 or bashe@tribweb.com. Staff writer Liz Hayes contributed to this report.

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