Monessen man to face trial for robbing teen

January 9, 2013

A Monessen man was ordered Wednesday to stand trial on charges that he robbed a 15-year-old teen at gunpoint while the boy gave him directions to Charleroi Area High School.

Jon Ray Keith Kennedy, 19, faced a preliminary hearing before District Judge David Mark in Washington County Central Court. He is charged with robbery, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct, harassment and firearms not to be carried without a license.

At the hearing, the 15-year-old boy testified to how he and two friends were walking along Center Avenue in North Charleroi when they were approached by Kennedy and another man. Kennedy asked for directions to the high school.

The teen told his friends to go ahead and he’d meet up with them after he gave Kennedy directions. The two other boys were out of sight when Kennedy grabbed the boy around the waist and pointed a gun at his chest.

“He said, “This isn’t a game. This is real. Give me your stuff!’” the teen testified.

The boy said he then hit Kennedy and turned to run, when Kennedy swung and hit him below his right eye and forced him to the ground.

Kennedy grabbed the teen’s backpack and wallet that contained $105 in cash, two $50 gift cards and other identification and bank cards. The boy said Kennedy also grabbed his cellphone but gave it back at the boy’s pleading.

“I told him not to take the cellphone because it was my mother’s,” he explained.

The teen said he went home without calling police to report the incident. He said he went to his family doctor for treatment of injuries he suffered from Kennedy’s punch that resulted in broken blood vessels in and a lump under his eye.

Two days later, the boy reported the incident to police after his mother made him, he said.

While the boy was making the report to Officer Elijah DeFassio, he was overheard by Officer Michael Kresich, who arrested Kennedy Dec. 15 following a traffic stop on Lincoln Avenue. Kennedy, a passenger in the stopped vehicle, allegedly threw a .22-caliber revolver out of the vehicle and was sitting on top of a black backpack that contained suspected crack and marijuana as well as bullets for the gun.

Police also found an athletic pass and gift card belonging to the boy.

The boy then identified Kennedy out of a photo array.

Kennedy remains lodged in the county jail on $50,000 straight bond.

Linda Metz has been with the Observer-Reporter since 2000, covering Washington County courts and politics, as well as the city of Washington. She previously was employed by the Tribune Review. She is a graduate of Point Park College, now a university, in Pittsburgh.

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