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Drug suspect accused of resisting arrest in Indiana Borough

| Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Indiana Borough police said they used batons and pepper spray to subdue a Braddock man who became violent after authorities discovered a brick of heroin in his possession during a traffic stop on Wednesday night.

Rickie R. Robertson Jr., 25, also had suspected crack cocaine and $424 in cash with him, police said.

Robertson was arraigned on Thursday before Indiana District Judge Susanne Steffee and charged with aggravated assault, drug possession, escape, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, simple assault and criminal mischief.

Officer Leroy Anderson Jr. said that while on patrol along Philadelphia Street, he noticed the driver of a Ford Taurus change lanes without using a turn signal.

When Robertson was pulled over, another officer at the scene noticed a white substance on the floor of the car, which the suspect said was residue from drywall, according to court documents.

When police searched Robertson, they found the heroin, records indicate.

As Anderson placed Robertson's hands behind his back, Robertson pushed back and ran, then stumbled to the ground, records show.

As Anderson and the other officers advised Robertson to stop resisting, he “pushed, punched and kicked at officers,” a complaint said.

Robertson continued to struggle despite being struck in the legs by batons and sprayed in the face with pepper spray.

Two additional officers and members of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania police force arrived to assist.

During a strip search at the borough police station, a knotted baggie of suspected crack cocaine was found in Robertson's sweat pants, police said.

The heroin was packaged in five bundles, each containing 10 stamp bags labeled Magic City, police said.

A police officer who declined to be identified said the bags likely had a street value of $10 to $20 each.

A spokeswoman for District Attorney Patrick Dougherty said the drugs had not yet been weighed, and their worth was undetermined.

Robertson was placed in the Indiana County Jail on $250,000 bond.

He faces a preliminary hearing on Jan. 27 before Steffee.

Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or mpickels@tribweb.com.

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