Police: Robbery at rally — vendor assaults another

MONTOURSVILLE — A traveling Trump merchandise seller allegedly robbed and punched another vendor unconscious for $500, soon after the president’s plane had taken off Monday, according to Montoursville police.

Willie Edward Singleton, 29, who is on probation in South Carolina and has a criminal record of burglary, possession of a stolen firearm, pointing that firearm at others and domestic violence, told District Judge Gary A. Whiteman he follows rallies to sell his Donald Trump shirts and hats.

Another street vendor, Allen Essrig, was walking along 10 block of Jordan Avenue with his own merchandise when he dropped a large amount of cash which he told police amounted to around $500.

“Singleton viewed bills fall out of his hand and Singleton picked them up and ran,” said David Yael, Montoursville Police officer. In the scuffle, Singleton punched Essrig unconscious and watched him fall into the street, and stole a chain and silver watch from him. Essrig was later transferred to the hospital for cuts to his legs, knees and face.

The victim made his way to the nearby Turkey Hill and notified police, who began to search for a 6-foot-tall black man with a red “Make America Great Again” hat and red shirt.

Officers Perchinski and Yael stopped a man matched most of the description. The police patted him down, found the dollar type matching the description — folded $20 bills — as well as a red “MAGA” hat among his collection which had apparent sweat stains.

“The male stated he had money in his pocket from selling hats,” said Yael.

Once at Montoursville Borough Police headquarters, Singleton admitted to all charges and that he had changed his hat in an effort to hide from police, according to court documents.

Singleton was charged with two counts of robbery, simple assault, harassment, and theft. He was jailed in lieu of $300,000.


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