Suspect in pistol-whipping in Masontown arrested
By Renatta Signorini
Published: Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
Three men were pistol-whipped and bound with cords in a Masontown home this month by four male intruders who demanded to know the location of money and drugs, police said.
Keith Arnold Johnson, 23, of Brownsville was arrested Wednesday in connection with the robbery. He was identified by the victims as one of the assailants, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
The robbers made off with a pistol, $250, a silver knife, a bag of marijuana and a bank card from a North Washington Street residence, Masontown police said.
Taken from a Fairview Avenue home was $50,000 in cash, the affidavit said.
The other three suspects have not been charged.
A 33-year-old woman let four armed men into the North Washington Street home of her ex-boyfriend on Jan. 14, according to police. Patrolman Thomas Obarto said in the complaint the suspects “immediately” pistol-whipped three adult men on their heads and faces.
The three victims were forcibly taken to the living room “where they were tied up with extension cords and USB cables,” according to the affidavit.
The suspects allegedly demanded to know the location of money and drugs. Police said the intruders woke the young son of one of the victims and “attempted to interrogate him.”
“They then brought the boy out in front of his father ... and threatened to kill the boy in front of his father if he didn't tell them where the money and drugs were,” according to the criminal complaint.
Johnson and another suspect allegedly drove one of the victims to an ATM and demanded, at gunpoint, he withdraw money.
The woman and Johnson allegedly entered the Fairview Avenue home of one of the victims with a key they took from him, according to the complaint. Police said the victim's family members were asleep upstairs.
Johnson allegedly told the woman to get cash inside a Quaker Oats container hidden inside a cooler underneath a set of basement steps, Obarto wrote in the complaint. Inside, she found $50,000, police said.
The victims told police that they feared the woman had been kidnapped and possibly killed. Police spoke with her on Jan. 15 at her home, where they found her unharmed.
Johnson told police that the woman dropped him off in Masontown on Jan. 14, but she denied seeing him that day, according to the complaint.
Johnson is charged with aggravated assault, kidnapping, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, robbery, kidnapping to facilitate a felony and terroristic threats, burglary, theft, criminal trespass, kidnapping a minor, unlawful restraint of a minor, false imprisonment of a minor and unauthorized use of a vehicle. He was arraigned by District Judge Michael Metros on Wednesday morning and is being held in the Fayette County Prison on $250,000 bail.
A Feb. 4 preliminary hearing before District Judge Randy Abraham is scheduled.
Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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