By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer
SANDY LAKE TOWNSHIP —
A Sandy Lake Township man has been charged with beating and robbing another man in what the victim called a set-up.
The incident stems from an apparent love triangle and has racial overtones as the victim is alleged to have used a racial epithet against the accused perpetrator, Desmond D. Greene, 18, of 440 Lytle School Road
Greene was arraigned Friday by District Judge D. Neil McEwen, Pine Township, on state police charges of robbery, theft and simple assault.
Greene was taken to jail for failing to post bond and faces a preliminary hearing at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday.
The robbery occurred at about 9:45 p.m. May 2 at state game lands on Reeds Furnace Road, Sandy Lake Township, police said.
The victim said he was hanging out with a friend, a 20-year-old French Creek Township man, and a 16-year-old girl he described as his girlfriend when a man he did not know – later identified as Greene – ran out of bushes and attacked him, police said.
Greene punched the victim in the face and head 20 or 30 times and held him in a choke hold, police said.
Greene told the girl to search the victim’s pockets and she stole the victim’s cellular telephone, a flashlight and $3, police said.
Greene let the victim up but hit him eight to 10 more times before the victim ran away, police said.
The victim told police he believes the girl and possibly the French Creek Township man set him up, police said.
The girl told police later that night that Greene is her current boyfriend, and said she “kind of used to have a thing” with the victim, but claimed the victim is “obsessed with me and doesn’t want to leave me alone.”
She told police, “I didn’t see him (victim) tonight and wasn’t involved in any assault,” police said.
Greene told police that the victim had used a racial epithet to refer to him on Facebook – Greene is black – but that he had never met the victim and “wasn’t involved in any assault.”
The French Creek Township man said he had hung out with the girl and Greene and during the day Greene asked him if he wanted to beat up the victim, police said.
“I didn’t say anything,” the man said. “I kind of shook my head like I didn’t want to. I’m friends with (the victim) also.”
The man said the victim asked him later if he wanted to hang out with him and the girl, and he picked them up, ending up at the game lands.
“Des ran out of the woods and started beating up (the victim),” the man said. “The beating lasted one to two minutes. Des hit (the victim) about 25 to 30 times.”
The man said he “didn’t do anything during that time” and the victim was able to run away.
The man said he did not see the Facebook posting that apparently riled Greene, but said the victim had used the racial epithet in reference to Greene before.