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Officers hurt in scuffle with suspect

| Tuesday, April 17, 2001

Two South Park Township police officers were injured Friday after scuffling with a man accused of trying to steal cigarette papers from Schoeb's Sunoco at 5660 Brownsville Road.

Sgt. David Starzynski was about 50 yards away from the store when a clerk called police around 1:23 a.m., said Deputy Chief Dennis McDonough.

McDonough said the suspect, Branden Stromberg, 24, whose last known address is in the 6200 block of Library Road, Bethel Park, had scuffled with the unidentified clerk while allegedly trying to steal cigarette papers from behind the counter. The clerk was uninjured.

McDonough said Stromberg confronted Starzynski with a large metal chain as he walked out of the store. Stromberg broke away and was trying to steal Starzynski's car when the second officer, Gerard Fox, arrived.

The two officers subdued Stromberg, who McDonough said police believe was high on marijuana and other narcotics. The department is awaiting the results of toxicology reports.

Both officers complained of back and shoulder injuries and were treated and released from Jefferson Hospital. Stromberg was treated at the hospital and then sent to the Allegheny County Jail. He was released on bond later the same day, McDonough said.

Stromberg is charged with two counts of assault on a police officer and one count each of robbery, attempted auto theft and resisting arrest.

A preliminary hearing has been postponed until the officers return to duty, McDonough said.

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