Penn State students arrested for robbery, burglary, assault

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

Three Penn State students were taken into custody late last week after an alleged altercation in one of the University Park residence halls.

According to Penn State police, an officer was dispatched Thursday to Curtin Hall for a report of a robbery and fight in progress. On arrival, the officer contacted the resident, who reportedly had an abrasion on the side of his face, a bloodshot eye and a visible limp.

The resident reported three men had arrived at his room at about 3:45 p.m., police said. They were identified as Emile V. Pitt Jr., 18, of Gaithersburg, Md., Joseph C. Bird, 18, of Derwood, Md., and Ayub F. Sayed, 18, of Philadelphia.

Pitt continued to knock on the door until the resident answered, police said, and allegedly pushed his way into the room when he was denied entry. He reportedly began to yell at the resident, slapping him in the face multiple times over the course of about 15 to 20 minutes.

Pitt told the resident he would not leave until he either took all the resident’s money or the resident fought him, police said, and punched the resident in the face and body. Bird was reported to have taken $200 from the resident’s wallet and Pitt reportedly took a pair of Nike sneakers valued at $400.

The resident’s roommate attempted to stop them from leaving, police said, but was attacked by Sayed, who reportedly choked the roommate, leaving him “gasping for air.”

The reported altercation stemmed from an incident the previous day, police said, when Pitt and Bird knocked on the resident’s door and announced themselves as the police. Pitt was reported as a known drug seller, police said.

Occupants of the room destroyed various drug items thinking the police were present. The resident reportedly challenged Pitt, demanding he pay for the destroyed items.

The resident was then allegedly assaulted by Pitt at about 11 p.m. Wednesday on campus, police said. It was explained that Pitt confronted the resident the next day to stop him from saying Pitt owes money.

Officers were able to contact all three students, who turned themselves in on Thursday, police said. All reportedly acknowledged entering the Curtin Hall residence with the intent of confronting the resident.

Pitt, Bird and Sayed were arraigned Friday before District Judge Kelley Gillette-Walker, according to court documents. Pitt and Bird face several felony charges, including robbery, burglary and criminal trespassing, as well as misdemeanor counts of simple assault and theft.

Bail for Pitt was set at $250,000. Bail for Bird was set at $275,000.

Sayed faces similar charges, with felony charges of burglary, criminal trespassing and conspiracy robbery and theft charges. Bail was set at $150,000.

Pitt and Sayed remain in custody at the Centre County Correctional Facility. Bird posted bail and was released Saturday. Preliminary hearings for all three are scheduled for Nov. 29.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews