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Suspect in robbery and assault held on bond

October 28, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

HAGERSTOWN - A Hagerstown man who posted bond on handgun charges last week was ordered held on $100,000 bond Friday in connection with a September robbery and assault of a Valley Mall store owner.

Kenneth Leavern Longus, 20, of 814 W. Washington St., is charged through the Washington County Sheriff's Department with robbery, second-degree assault and felony theft in connection with a Sept. 13 robbery and assault at Urban Exchange.

Last week, Longus was charged with handgun violations through the Hagerstown Police Department after police allege he was found with two handguns in the car in which he was driving Oct. 18.

Longus posted a $30,000 bond at the Washington County Detention Center the next day, a jail spokeswoman has said.

Hagerstown Police Department Sgt. Paul Kifer said Friday that Longus remains a "person of interest" in investigations into recent shootings in the city.

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According to charging documents in the mall incident, the owner of Urban Exchange, Damon Vass, called the sheriff's department after The Herald-Mail ran a photograph of Longus and story about the handgun charges.

Vass said "he immediately recognized Longus as one of the persons who entered his store on Sept. 13 and assaulted and robbed him," according to charging documents.

On Sept. 13 about noon, Vass said he tried to usher four men out of his store after he recognized two members of the group who he alleged tried to steal from him before, according to charging documents.

After Vass watched members of the group take clothes off the racks, he approached the group, at which point he was "probably jumped" because he couldn't remember anything after he approached the group, according to charging documents.

Vass was treated at Washington County Hospital for a "large knot and abrasion" on his forehead sustained in the alleged assault.

Witnesses said they saw a group of males leave the mall carrying clothing.

Ten jackets and hooded sweat shirts, valued at $1,075, were reported stolen, according to charging documents.

In a bond review hearing Friday, Washington County District Judge Mark D. Thomas ordered Longus be held in connection with the mall incident on $100,000 bond, which was the initial bond set by a court commissioner when Longus was brought in on the charges Thursday.

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