Man charged in Westmoreland County crime spree to stand trial

CBS Pittsburgh
CBS Pittsburgh

GREENSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) - A local man accused in a bizarre crime spree will stand trial.

Alex Kerestesy allegedly destroyed a hotel lobby, stole a cart full of items from a drug store and walked off with it wearing only his underwear.

Kerestesy said he didn't mean any harm and has mental health issues. But police say he admitted to using drugs before the incidents.

"I just want to say this whole thing was just a misunderstanding. That's all I can say for now," he said heading into his preliminary hearing on robbery and assault charges after his alleged crime spree on June 19.

Police were called "down at Knight's Inn, where a male was accused of doing a substantial amount of damage in the lobby after they refused to give him an application for employment," said Greensburg Police Shawn Denning.

Arrested at the scene, Kerestesy got medical care after the hotel incident. But not long after, police got a call down at Rite Aid.

Kerestesy was allegedly in the store causing problems.

"A male was walking up and down the aisle filling up his cart with items, screaming, throwing things on the floor, acting irrationally," said Denning.

Kerestesy allegedly filled a shopping cart up with items.

Denning said Kerestesy told the store's manager as he left, "I'm not paying for these items and if (you) don't get out of the way, I'm going to shoot you and when the police come, I'm going to shoot them also."

Video shows by the time officers caught up with Kerestesy, he'd stripped down to his underwear but was still pushing the cart through Greensburg.

"When the police pulled up, he shoved the cart in front of the police car," Denning said, adding "the officers tried to take him into custody peacefully, he refused and ran out onto the roadway."

That's when officers used a taser on him.

But police say while Kerestesy claims his actions were due to mental health issues, he later admitted something else was involved.

"He had some issues with meth use and past history with bath salts," Denning said.

Kerestesy was held on bond awaiting his formal arraignment.

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