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Two charged in brass-knuckle beating, robbery

| Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, 12:33 p.m.
Westmoreland County Jail
Johnathan Lee
Westmoreland Cunty Jail
Damon Jones

Allegheny Township police arrested two men in the Sandalwood Apartments on Thursday, suspected of beating a Freeport man with brass knuckles in the complex's parking lot and stealing his backpack.

Damon D. Jones, 21, of Pittsburgh and former Vandergrift resident Johnathan E. Lee, 20, were arraigned Friday morning by Jeannette District Judge Joseph DeMarchis and committed to the Westmoreland County jail in lieu of $250,000 bond.

They are charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal trespass.

Allegheny Township Police Chief John Fontaine said officers responded around 7:30 p.m. to the robbery.

The 21-year-old victim suffered head injuries and was bleeding when he told police that he was attacked by two men in the parking lot en route to a friend's apartment. The suspects, one with a pair of brass knuckles, allegedly beat him, took his backpack and fled into an adjacent apartment building.

The victim did not require hospitalization, according to the chief.

Police found and arrested the suspects, who were hiding under the bed in a second-story apartment. Fontaine didn't know as of Friday whether the apartment belonged to an associate of the perpetrators or if they broke in. Neither suspect faces breaking-and-entering charges.

The chief said officers believe the suspects thought the victim's backpack contained drugs, money or both.

He said they found neither in the backpack or on the suspects when they made the arrests but recovered a pair of brass knuckles from Lee.

Jones, of Bryn Mawr Road in Pittsburgh's Hill District, and Lee, who police say has no current address, were wanted by police.

Both had outstanding warrants, but details of those alleged crimes were not available.

Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4673 or bashe@tribweb.com.

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