Man robs retired chief at police convention
'Dumbest criminal' doesn't get far, is caught by other officers
updated 6:46 p.m. MT, Fri., March. 27, 2009
HARRISBURG, Penn. - A retired police chief says he was robbed by "probably the dumbest criminal in Pennsylvania."
It happened Friday morning at a hotel hosting a police officers' convention near Harrisburg that drew 300 narcotics officers from Pennsylvania and Ohio.
John Comparetto says as he came out of a stall in the men's bathroom, a man pointed a gun in his face and demanded money.
Comparetto, a retired police chief from New York, gave up his money and cell phone. But when the man fled, Comparetto and some colleagues chased him. They arrested 19-year-old Jerome Marquis Blanchett of Harrisburg as he was trying to leave in a taxi.
Blanchett, who was awaiting trial of four previous robbery charges, was arraigned Friday before a District Court judge who set bail at $1 million.
When a reporter asked Blanchett for comment as he was led out of court, he said, "I'm smooth."