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Brooklyn, N.Y,. man charged following robbery in Hagerstown

Man allegedly tried to flee police following incident off East Avenue

July 17, 2012
  • Kristopher Shawn Lawrence
Hagerstown Police Department

A New York man charged with armed robbery was ordered by a Washington County District Court judge to be held without bond Tuesday, a day after police said he tried to escape while being taken in handcuffs to a patrol car.

District Judge Dana Moylan Wright set no bond for Kristopher Shawn Lawrence, 26, of Brooklyn, N.Y., who appeared for the hearing on a live television feed between District Court and the Washington County Detention Center.

Washington County Assistant State’s Attorney Leon Debes told Wright that Lawrence tried to escape once, and he probably wouldn’t show up for court in the future if he posted bond.

“The state does consider him a very high flight risk,” Debes said.

As a patrolman was unlocking his cruiser to take Lawrence to the Central Booking facility, officers said Lawrence ran from the police station with his hands cuffed behind his back.

Police wrote in the statement of probable cause that Lawrence ran across Burhans Boulevard, west through an alley that parallels the 400 block of West Washington Street, south across the 400 block of West Washington Street and behind some homes.

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Officers said he was captured in the 400 block of West Antietam Street.

Lawrence was charged with two counts each of armed robbery, robbery, first-degree assault, conspiracy to commit armed robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.

He also was charged with one count each of theft of $1,000 to under $10,000, theft of less than $1,000, handgun on person, handgun use in a felony/violent crime and second-degree escape.

Hagerstown Police said they were called at 4:30 p.m. Monday to the garage of a building at 42 East Ave. for a report of an armed robbery. Witnesses told police the suspects were last seen fleeing north on North Locust Street in a gold Toyota.

Officers talked to the victims, Aaron Knott and Johnny Hopkins, and noticed Knott was bleeding from a cut on the left side of his forehead, the statement of probable cause said. The men told police the cut was caused by Knott being struck by the barrel of a handgun.

Hopkins and Knott said they were in the garage when a man approached them with a black semi-automatic handgun. The man began to pull at Knott’s pockets, saying “Give it to me. Give it to me,” according to documents.

Knott said he pushed the man’s hand away. The man then struck Knott on the forehead with the handgun, documents said.   

While the robber removed $1,500 and a Samsung Galaxy cell phone from Knott’s pockets, a second man with a black semi-automatic weapon came toward the garage, the statement of probable cause said. The robber waved off the second man and closed the garage door.

Police said the man then pointed the handgun at Hopkins, telling him to empty his pockets.

“Hopkins said he didn’t have any property and emptied his pockets, throwing some loose coins, keys and a black Boost Mobile cell phone on the garage floor,” documents said. “Suspect No. 1 bent down and picked up the items Hopkins had just thrown on the floor.”

Officers said the robber backed out of the garage and appeared to try to lock it from the outside.

Police allege in documents that the robber and the second man jumped into a Toyota that was being driven by a third man.

During the course of the investigation, police contacted the cell phone companies and were able to trace Knott’s phone to a home at 21 Madison Ave.

Sgt. Jim Robison entered the home and found Lawrence in an upstairs bedroom with a female, the statement of probable cause said. Robison walked Lawrence and the woman out of the room to another officer. He then returned to the bedroom and found a black cell phone between the wall and an entertainment center.

“Sgt. Robison had police communications call the number for Knott’s cell phone and the cell rang, displaying the number for police communications,” the statement of probable cause said. “Sgt. Robison picked up the cell phone, talked to police communications and verified it was the stolen cell phone.”

Officers said Lawrence was taken to the Hagerstown Police Department, where Hopkins identified him as one of the men in the robbery.

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