Two men who assisted police in arrest recognized

July 7, 2014
Cumberland Township police Monday recognized Eric Smith and Tom Christopher who came to the department’s assistance after a man assaulted and robbed Rich Rosendale of Rich’s Trading Post June 18. The two men and township detective Tony Gismondi struggled with the robber outside the store following the robbery. From left are police Chief Craig Miller, Smith, Rosendale, Christopher and Gismondi. - Bob Niedbala / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

CARMICHAELS – Two men who helped Cumberland Township police apprehend a man who allegedly beat and robbed a local store owner were recognized Monday at a meeting of the Cumberland Township supervisors.

Eric Smith and Tom Christopher assisted police June 18 when Matthew R. King, 35, formerly of Uniontown and Ford City, allegedly robbed and assaulted Rich Rosendale, 68, at his store, Rich’s Trading Post, at 2117 E. Roy Furman Highway, Carmichaels.

“It’s not too often that people jump in to help like they did,” said Cumberland Township Police Chief Craig Miller, who presented the men with letters of recognition from the township. “This was an unknown circumstance, the man (King) could have had a weapon,” he said.

“What you did to help Rich was very courageous,” supervisor Bill Groves told the two men. “We could use more of that,” he said.

Smith and Christopher were at work at the Route 21 Mobile Home Sales, across the road from Rich’s, about 1 p.m. when they saw something going on at the store, called police and went to Rosendale’s aid.

Cumberland Township detective Tony Gismondi was the first to respond to Rich’s Trading Post, according to the criminal complaint.

Gismondi, Smith and Christopher struggled with King outside the store. Gismondi used both pepper spray and a Taser in an attempt to subdue King, who removed the Taser probes from his body and ran uphill into a field by Route 21 Mobile Home Park.

King was apprehended with help from Miller, Cumberland Township K-9 officer Artis and Greene County sheriff’s deputies.

Rich’s Trading Post has been in business for 10 years selling used appliances, furniture and other household items. Rosendale, who served as Greene County prothonotary from 1987 to 1999, was taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, W.Va., and treated for injuries to his face and arm.

Rosendale had been found in the bathroom of the store bound with electrical tape, which also covered his eyes and face.

King was charged with robbery, aggravated assault, flight to avoid apprehension, disarming law enforcement, theft by unlawful taking, unlawful restraint, simple assault, resisting arrest and multiple summary offenses.

He is being held in Greene County jail on $100,000 bond and faces a preliminary hearing on the charges at 1:30 p.m. Friday before District Judge Glenn Bates.



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