Lower Burrell police: Drug-addled man goes on naked rampage

About an hour ago

Police say a drug addled Lower Burrell man accused of robbing and assaulting a woman along Leechburg Road while naked told officers to shoot him.

Robert E. Brown, 48, told officers, “Just shoot me in the back of the head and end it,” according to a criminal complaint.


“In my 21 years in the Lower Burrell Police Department, I’m not familiar with anything anywhere remotely near an incident like this,” police Chief Tim Weitzel said Thursday. “It’s very obvious that his mental state appeared to be compromised.”


Police said they received a report around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday that a naked man, later identified as Brown, was assaulting a woman who was lying on the ground near Doug Milanak Barber Shop.


A witness told police Brown accused the woman of an improper action from his childhood — in spite of the fact that they were strangers. Police say he then ripped off her sweatshirt and ran away, according to the complaint.


Weitzel commended the witness and another man who came to the woman’s aid.


She suffered scrapes and scratches to her hands and knee. She declined medical attention.


“I credit those people with potentially stopping her from getting assaulted,” the chief said. “It was a strong-arm robbery at that point.”


Officer Dom Ravotti later spotted Brown sitting on the porch of a vacant house along Leechburg Road, according to the complaint.


Ravotti said Brown, who was naked from the waist down, jumped up, kicked in the front door and ran into the empty house.


Police went to the house and ordered whoever was inside to come out.


Brown complied, was arrested and handcuffed without incident.


Police said Brown was wearing the sweatshirt that he ripped from the woman earlier.


“My understanding is he was naked until he took the victim’s sweatshirt,” Weitzel said. The chief said Brown’s own clothing was found strewn on Westbrook Drive.


“Officers … found clothing … just laying on the street, indicating that he was likely taking off his own clothing as he was out moving about the community.”


Brown told police that he had been smoking “glass” and using PCP, meth, and marijuana.


Police put Brown in the back of a police car, where he kicked and slammed his body off the cage and accused multiple people of molesting him, the complaint said. He was taken to Allegheny Valley Hospital in Harrison.


“I wish you would have just shot me and ended it,” he told police, according to the complaint.


While in an emergency room, Brown allegedly struck Ravotti in the face, partially knocking off Ravotti’s glasses.


He was undergoing a mental health evaluation at AVH.


Brown faces charges of robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, trespassing, receiving stolen property, terroristic threats, simple assault, indecent exposure, criminal mischief, open lewdness and public drunkenness.


Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Madasyn at 724-226-4702, mczebiniak@tribweb.com or via Twitter .