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2 arrested after laser pointing in Liberty parking lot

LIBERTY — Two men with similar names were arrested in a restaurant parking lot Sunday evening when officers were called about a possible gun with a red laser sight.

One of the men, Robert L. Roman, 58, was issued and released on a summons of obstructing official business. The other man, Robert D. Roman, 26, was arrested by Liberty police and booked into the Trumbull County jail on charges of improperly handling a firearm in a motor vehicle, having weapons under disability and menacing.

The arrestee was arraigned Monday by Judge Jeffrey D. Adler in Girard Municipal Court and scheduled for a Feb. 14 preliminary hearing on the three charges. His bond was set at $12,500, according to Girard Municipal Court records.

Police were dispatched to Wendy’s at 4001 Belmont Avenue about 8:50 p.m. Sunday “in reference to a car pointing a laser light or possible gun in the drive-thru line into their vehicle,” a Liberty police report states.

Dispatchers advised officers of the suspect’s vehicle description and registration, along with the registered owner, Robert D. Roman, having a suspended CCW permit.

Once the vehicle began pulling out of the drive-thru, officers activated their overhead lights and sirens. Afterward, the suspects’ white GMC pickup truck slowly rolled into a parking spot at the south end of the parking lot near Liberty Street.

As the vehicle came to a complete stop, the driver side door immediately opened. All officers in the area ordered the driver, Robert D. Roman, to walk back to the sound of their voices as they drew their weapons.

The arrestee received a pat down and was placed in a cruiser, as officers then began ordering Robert L. Roman to stop walking and turn around after he exited the vehicle. The older Roman told police he was too old to turn around, and to “go ahead and shoot him,” the report states.

Two officers eventually deployed their stun weapons on Robert L. Roman, as he walked between patrol cars, ignoring verbal commands.

After receiving three stun weapon cartridges, Robert L. Roman fell to his knees. Officers approached him on the ground, and after a short struggle, placed him in handcuffs, according to the report.

While interviewing Robert D. Roman, an officer explained that a probable cause search for a gun was intended. The arrestee told officers there was no gun in the vehicle and explained that the laser was only a “bullet-like” laser in the middle console area, which had no batteries inside.

“I then gathered the ‘bullet-like’ laser from the middle console area where I tried to turn the laser on but was unable to do so,” an officer stated in the report.

“I then located a backpack in the backseat area just behind the driver and front passenger seat. I then grabbed the backpack and located, inside, two boxes of 9mm ammo,” the officer wrote in his report.

A piece of clothing that was hanging from the backseat toward the floor board covered by a 12-pack of Twisted Tea was removed. The officers found a tan firearm laying on the floorboard.

Upon removing the firearm from its holster, officers found a red dot sight, laser, attachment to the barrel of the gun and an inserted magazine containing live rounds, the report states.

It was later determined that the inserted magazine contained 15 live rounds. “Nothing else illegal was located inside the vehicle,” the officer continued.

“Serial number on firearm was then given to dispatch with no record found. Liberty paramedics arrived on scene and treated both subjects, where both subjects refused further treatment and signed off,” the report states.

Robert L. Roman’s obstruction charge was listed as pending additional charges once police consulted with the Girard prosecutor because of his prior felony convictions.

Robert D. Roman claimed the weapon found in the vehicle was his, and after reviewing his criminal history, it was determined that he also had a prior conviction in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

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