Suspected pizza delivery robbers held for trial
Three of the five individuals allegedly involved in the robbery of a pizza delivery driver in Connellsville will go to trial, following their preliminary hearing on Thursday. The other two waived their charges to trial.
Charges of robbery/threat of serious injury, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, terroristic threats and recklessly endangering another person against Stephen Kozakovsky, 18; Christopher Colbert, 16; and Dakoda Keith Shipley, 17, all of Connellsville, were held for court Thursday before District Judge Ronald Haggerty Jr. Shipley had an additional charge of illegal possession of a firearm.
The three were charged, along with Cody Darrell and Mark Liston, both 18, of Connellsville, for the robbery of a pizza delivery driver along Perry Street at 11:10 p.m. on Jan. 15.
The delivery driver, David Garcia, testified at the consolidated preliminary hearing for Kozakovsky, Colbert and Shipley that he arrived at the house, where a cellphone order told him to make the delivery, knocked on the door and was told it was the wrong house.
Garcia said he returned to his vehicle when one of the defendants knocked on his window and asked if he was the delivery driver.
When Garcia said he was and exited his vehicle, the man said he had to go to the house and get the money. It was then Garcia heard a sound in the bushes nearby and two men came toward him, he testified.
“They said, ‘I will give you five seconds to hit the ground or I will shoot you,'” Garcia testified, adding that they took nearly $100 from his pocket as well as the order of a large pizza, wings and three bottles of pop.
When cross-examined by one of the three attorneys representing the defendants, Garcia said he couldn't identify the three men from that night because it was dark and happened fast and he wasn't sure if one of the men, who had either a scarf or some other object over his face, had a gun or some other object.
Liston testified that on the night of the incident he was having dinner with Kozakovsky when they decided to pick up Darrell and Colbert and then Shipley and drive around in Kozakovsky's borrowed car.
Liston said during the drive to the Honey Bear along Snyder Street, those in the car said they were going to “hit a lick” and talked about robbing a pizza delivery driver. Liston testified he didn't know what “hit a lick” meant and thought the talk of robbing the driver was just talk.
An Internet search showed that “hit a lick” means to gain a lot of money in a short amount of time.
While at the Honey Bear, Darrell lent his cellphone to the three while he and Liston went to the Circle K for gas in Dunbar Township, Liston testified.
Liston said that Darrell said they had to stop at East Park to get his cellphone, which was used to call the pizza order.
Liston said when he and Darrell arrived at East Park, Kozakovsky, Colbert and Shipley came out of the bushes with a gun and the items stolen from Garcia.
At that point, Liston said he decided to walk home and was then arrested by police.
Members of the Connellsville Police Department along with South Connellsville police officers and a K-9 unit with Perryopolis arrested Liston and the other four within a few hours.
Haggerty held all charges against Kozakovsky, Colbert and Shipley for county court with a formal arraignment scheduled at 9:30 a.m. March 20 in Courtroom 3 of the Fayette County Courthouse.
Kozakovsky is free on $30,000 bond, but Colbert and Shipley remain lodged in the Fayette County Prison in lieu of $30,000 bond each.
The charges against Liston and Darrell were waived prior to the preliminary hearing. They will have a formal arraignment at the same time, date and location as the other three. They are free on $30,000 bond each.
Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or firstname.lastname@example.org.