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Sewickley Township man wanted for brandishing handgun in robbery attempt

Paul Peirce
| Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, 3:18 p.m.

State police in Greensburg obtained an arrest warrant Wednesday for a Sewickley Township area man who allegedly threatened two teens with a handgun during a recent attempted robbery.

Zayne B. Balmer, 20, who police said has no current address, was in a vehicle with four juveniles Sunday when they stopped along Greenhills Road and spoke with a teenager along the road before driving away, Trooper Ty Smith reported.

Smith reported in an affidavit of probable cause that Balmer pointed a handgun out the window and “randomly” fired a shot as they left and told the unnamed driver he wanted to return to rob the teenager “to buy a pack of cigarettes.”

When the juvenile driver refused to pull over, witnesses reported Balmer pointed the gun at the back of the driver's head and threatened to shoot if he did not stop, Smith said.

The robbery victim then refused to give Balmer the $8 he had in his pocket, and Balmer and the teens again drove away when a passerby approached, Smith reported.

Rostraver District Judge Charles Christner signed a warrant against Balmer on charges of robbery, carrying firearms without a license. terroristic threats, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and simple assault.

Balmer, who also has lived in Unity Township, is awaiting trial in Common Pleas Court for aggravated assault and reckless endangerment after he was on the run for several days in July with Antonio J. Wilkins, 20, of Jeannette. The two were charged in a July 4 incident in West Newton with intentionally running over a pedestrian. Balmer has been free on $5,000 bail.

Balmer is described as 5 feet, 7 inches tall, about 130 pounds with strawberry blond hair and blue eyes. Anyone with information can contact state police at 724-832-3288.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2860, or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.

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