By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun
9:27 PM EDT, October 12, 2013
A Baltimore man who was shot by county police Friday on Pulaski Highway was wanted for robbing a Timonium gold business earlier this month of jewelry and other items after binding two employees' hands with zip ties, authorities said.
Police said that on Oct. 2, Derek Alexander Roberts, 44, and another man, Richard Bruzdzinski, 42, entered the American Bullion Center on York Road shortly after 4:30 p.m. and forced two employees to lie on the floor, tied their hands and took jewelry, coins, a phone and a handgun from the store.
Business owner Richard Davis said he knew Bruzdzinski from a previous transaction when Bruzdzinski sold him some coins. Davis said the store is locked and that customers must be buzzed inside. Because he recognized Bruzdzinski from the earlier transaction, he let him inside. Once in the store, the two men put masks on and pulled out a gun and a Taser.
"I say, 'What's this all about?' They said 'We want your money,'" Davis said. They forced him and his 61-year-old female employee to the ground, and took their cellphones and the business phone to keep them from calling police, he said.
Davis said when the men donned masks, he thought it was just a Halloween joke.
"How dumb can you be? I recognized him. And now you are coming in to rob me?" he said. "They were caught on camera. I keep detailed records. I had their driver's license on file."
Business owners with precious metal licenses are required by law to keep records of sellers and their transactions.
Six days after the robbery, police tracked down Bruzdzinski and arrested him.
On Friday, two detectives assigned to Baltimore County's criminal investigation division spotted Roberts leaving a motel on Pulaski Highway in Middle River and attempted to arrest him. When officers walked up to his car while it was stopped at a traffic light, police said, Roberts reached for a handgun, and the officers fired their weapons. Roberts drove about 7 miles before he struck another vehicle and was stopped by officers.
Roberts had one gunshot wound but suffered only minor injuries, police said. No one else was injured in the incident.
After the shooting, police searched a room at the Pulaski Highway motel and took one woman into custody for questioning. She was released without charges.
Roberts, of the 600 block of N. Belnord Ave., in the city's McElderry Park neighborhood, is charged with first degree assault in Friday's incident, and one count of armed robbery and use of a handgun during a felony from the armed robbery. He was treated for his injuries at a local hospital and is being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.
Roberts recently served prison time, although it is unclear from online court records what he was convicted of. But while serving a sentence, he accused a guard of misidentifying him as a Black Guerrilla Family gang member, causing him to unsuccessfully sue the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services director in 2009.
Bruzdzinski, who has a lengthy criminal history, was previously arrested on Oct. 8 and charged with armed robbery and related offenses. He is also charged with burglary from an incident on Aug. 1 and was indicted in April on burglary charges from incidents in September 2012 and is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 30, online court records show.
The detectives, a 29- and a 25-year veteran, have not been identified.
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