Five suspects quickly found, arrested in Arnold home invasion

Chuck Biedka
| Thursday, May 21, 2009

Three men and two teenagers are accused of storming into an Arnold house along the 1700 block of Third Avenue early Wednesday, beating a resident and then sideswiping a car as they fled.

The escape was short-lived, however, as police pulled over the suspects in Plum.

Police allege that four suspects, who wore bandanas over their faces or sunglasses and hats, forced their way through the front door at about 12:40 a.m.

The intruders rushed the resident, grabbed and pistol whipped him, then struck him with a wooden baseball bat in his abdomen, police said in an affidavit.

All the while, they demanded that he show them where money supposedly was hidden. The suspects were seen running down 17th Street toward the Allegheny River.

Arnold police radioed other police about the incident. Minutes later, the investigating officers heard a 911 report about a hit-and-run accident along the 1600 block of Third Avenue.

A witness had told police they saw the disguised men on a porch at the 1700 block of Third Avenue. The witness later saw four or five people come out of the house, get in a silver SUV that hit a parked car in the next block and speed off.

A short time later a New Kensington officer started to pursue a silver Chevrolet SUV.

He stopped it at Route 909 and held the suspects at gunpoint until other officers arrived, police said.

The five suspects were arrested inside.

Police say they found a loaded 9mm pistol on the middle of the rear passenger seat. A baseball bat was on the driver's seat.

The five suspects were arraigned Wednesday afternoon by District Judge Frank J. Pallone Jr. They include two juveniles, who are charged as adults.

All five were taken to the Westmoreland County Prison in lieu of bond.

A preliminary hearing is tentatively set for next Thursday.

Information on the beating victim's condition was available.

Additional Information:

Five in custody

Three Pittsburgh area men and two juveniles charged as adults were taken into custody early Wednesday.

They are charged, unless indicated, with burglary, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, attempted robbery, and carrying a firearm without a license.

The suspects and the cash bond set for each:

• Joseph William Barnett Jr., 17, of 2068 Boggs Ave., Wilkinsburg; $50,000.

• Desmond J. Bentley, 20, of 457 Camp Ave., Braddock; $75,000.

• Maurice P. Green, 22, of 2001 Sonny St., Pittsburgh; not facing the gun charge; $75,000.

• Dante Hill, 22, of 1106 Jones Ave., North Braddock; $50,000.

• Phillip Ray Winland, 15, of 1843 Monteir St., Wilkinsburg; $50,000.

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