Man accused in New Freedom robbery

Joseph O'Donnell

An 18-year-old and two teenagers robbed a man on his back patio in New Freedom on Sunday night, according to authorities.

Southern Regional Police said Joseph Edward O'Donnell III, 18, robbed the man Sunday, Nov. 11, because the man owed him money.

O'Donnell, along with a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old, grabbed the man and robbed him of his $180 vape, court documents state.

O'Donnell, whose last known address was in the 2200 block of Cedar Road, West Manchester Township, is charged with two counts each of robbery and theft, and one count each of loitering, disorderly conduct and harassment. 

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Incident: Court documents state a 14-year-old with the group of three had texted the victim to hang out before 7 p.m. Sunday.

The teen met the victim on his back patio in the 100 block of Freedom Avenue, and O'Donnell and the two others grabbed the man and pushed him against the wall, officials said.

The three then reached into his pockets, but the victim fought back, according to authorities.

The victim grabbed a metal pipe and chased the three off, charging documents state.

He told police he recognized the three who robbed him, officials said.

Found: Officer Derek Smith went to the home of one of the teens in New Freedom and spoke to that teen's mother, charging documents state.

She found her son, the other teen and O'Donnell in her basement, police said.

Smith spoke to the three and they admitted to going to the man's home, but the teens said they never touched him and they did not steal his vape, court documents state.

Police said O'Donnell told Smith that the victim owed him $40 from an incident involving damage to his phone. He told police that he grabbed the victim and pushed him against the wall but did not take the man's vape, charging documents state.

O'Donnell told police that he was kicked out of his house by his mother and he needed the money that the man owed him, officials said. Police said O'Donnell said he didn't mean to do it that way but that the victim was not answering his calls and would not meet him.

O'Donnell had the 14-year-old call the victim to hang out so they knew the man would be out in the back, charging documents state.

He said he did not know where the vape was, police said.

Charges were filed Monday, Nov. 12, and O'Donnell was arraigned on them that day. He was sent to prison on $25,000 bail.

He does not have an attorney listed.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 28 at District Judge Lindy Lane Sweeney's office.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.