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Freeport man waives right to hearing in robbery case

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

FORD CITY – A 32-year-old Freeport man, who police say was thwarted by a clerk as he allegedly tried to rob a convenience store in February, is headed for Armstrong County Criminal Court.

Joshua Paul Lang, of 115 Fourth St., Apt. 8, Freeport, waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Tuesday before District Judge J. Gary DeComo.

Lang is charged with attempted robbery, attempted theft, simple assault and harassment.

According to the criminal complaint, Lang entered the Freeport BP convenience store at 222 Buffalo St., at around 8:15 a.m. Feb. 26 and rushed behind the counter, shoving the clerk, Michelle Suzanne Hawthorne, away from the cash register.

After struggling with Hawthorne and failing to gain access to the cash register, Lang fled on foot.

He was apprehended along Market Street in Freeport a short time later and confessed to the robbery saying “he wanted to go back to jail,” the complaint said.

Hawthorne, who appeared in district court on Tuesday, said Lang had come into the store a couple of times before Feb. 26 to buy lottery tickets.

Hawthorne said Lang injured her neck and back when he shoved her into the counter during his attempted robbery.

“He told everybody he's on heroin and wants to go back to jail to get methadone,” said Hawthorne.

Lang has been held in the Armstrong County Jail since Feb. 26 in lieu of $50,000 cash bond.

Court records show Lang has been jailed in Armstrong County for similar crimes and has received drug treatment at ARC Manor in Kittanning.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or

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