Robbery charge dropped for suspect with alibi Pittsburgh police ignored

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The Allegheny County District Attorney's office today withdrew charges against a Lincoln-Lemington man who claimed Pittsburgh police wrongfully arrested him for a Homewood robbery.

DeAndre Brown, 26, who works as a security guard at the Carnegie Library branch in Homewood, told police he could not have committed the crime because he was at a training session at the Oakland branch at the time of the robbery. Dana's Bakery on North Homewood Avenue was robbed shortly before 3 p.m. on Sept. 10.

Mr. Brown had a surveillance video showing him at the training session, a sign-in sheet and an alibi witness to support his claim, his attorney, Patrick Nightingale, said.

The only evidence tying Mr. Brown to the robbery, the lawyer continued, was a mistaken eyewitness identification.

At Mr. Brown's preliminary hearing, Mr. Nightingale tried to provide the investigating officer with the alibi information, but the officer refused to listen.

"I'm extremely disappointed the police officer investigating this matter completely ignored the alibi witness," Mr. Nightingale said.

The officer even refused to take the man's name or phone number.

It was only after a member of the DA's office reviewed the information that the charges were withdrawn.

Mr. Brown spent about a month in jail before his bond was reduced on Oct. 17, allowing him to be released to electronic monitoring.

"So now we know today the person who committed this armed robbery is still out there running around, and the city police blew six weeks on this," Mr. Nightingale said. "It's unfortunate my client had to sit in jail for weeks knowing he is an innocent man, but today justice has prevailed."

Paula Reed Ward: or 412-263-2620.

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