WAYNESBURG – A would-be robber’s plot to mug a Waynesburg pedestrian at gunpoint was thwarted early Thursday morning after borough police said the victim punched the man in the face, threw him to the ground, took the pellet gun from him and struck him in the face with it.
After the altercation, police found Larry Steven Hagyari Jr., 28, of 135 Washington St., Jefferson, bleeding from the head and running near Eva K. Bowlby Library on North West Street shortly after midnight. Hagyari, who is now in jail on robbery and aggravated assault charges, had initially told police that he was out walking and had been “jumped” by someone.
But when police talked to Waynesburg resident John Shriver, who was found nearby also bleeding from his head, he told them that Hagyari was the one who tried to rob him at gunpoint. Shriver told police that he was walking on Bowlby Street when Hagyari, dressed in a dark hoodie, approached him from behind a fence, pointed a gun at him and demanded money.
“Shriver then stated that he punched the man and threw him to the ground, taking the gun from him, and that he started to hit the man with the gun and threw (the gun) over the fence when the man ran off,” police wrote in the criminal complaint.
Shriver showed an officer a piece of the black plastic pellet gun on the ground.
Police had been called out to that area earlier for a report of three suspicious men, one of them with a gun and matching Hagyari’s description. The caller told police that Hagyari had been walking up and down Bowlby Street in front of houses, “like he was casing the place,” police wrote in the criminal complaint.
The other two men with Hagyari were Cornell Hamilton and Patrick Maurice, both of Clarksville. The men told police that Hagyari had given them a ride to Waynesburg, before getting out of his vehicle and telling them he’d “be right back,” the complaint said. Police said Hamilton was released, but Maurice was taken into custody on a warrant.
Hagyari was charged with robbery, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, possessing instruments of crime and disorderly conduct. He is being held at the Greene County jail on $20,000 bail. His preliminary hearing before District Judge Glenn Bates is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sept. 21.