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Three Charged in Renzie Incident

Drugs, weapon recovered following brief chase through park

By Staff Reports
The Tube City Almanac
September 22, 2021
Posted in: Crime and Police News

Three men face charges following an incident Monday afternoon in Renziehausen Park that resulted in the recovery of drugs and a stolen handgun.

Two of the suspects were apprehended after they fled police and crashed their car into a metal barrier along Eden Park Boulevard, McKeesport police said.

No injuries to bystanders were reported, but police said multiple people and children were in the park area at the time of this incident, thus putting them in danger.

McKeesport police said officers were dispatched to the Jakomas Blue-Top Pavilion just before 4 p.m. after 9-1-1 callers reported a fight was in progress. While en route, police said, a caller reported hearing what might have been a gun shot.

When officers arrived on the scene, police said participants in the alleged fight attempted to flee in three separate vehicles.

Police said one of the cars, described as a blue Hyundai Elantra, drove straight at a responding police vehicle before fleeing through the park in the direction of Tulip Drive. According to police reports, moments later, police heard a loud crash in the area of Eden Park Boulevard and found the Hyundai had crashed into a metal access gate between Stephen Barry Field and the Lions Bandshell.

Two men were exiting the Hyundai and fleeing on foot, police said, and one was carrying a small black-colored firearm. That man fled on foot toward Pavilion No. 7, police said, while the other man was picked up by a black Subaru one of the two other cars that had fled from the parking lot.

Police stopped the black Subaru near Lake Emilie and arrested Christopher K. Cooper, 28, of Philadelphia and William Rodgers, 24, of McKeesport. Both were in possession of a small amount of suspected marijuana, police said.

The driver of the Subaru did not have a valid driver's license and the vehicle was towed, police said.

Police said the man who fled on foot was seen throwing the firearm he was carrying into a trash can. Following a brief chase through the park, the suspect, identified as Ni'Quan Rodgers, 18, of McKeesport was detained without further incident, police said.

A black-colored .38-caliber revolver, loaded with five rounds, was recovered from the trash can, according to a police report.

Ni'Quan Rodgers told police the weapon was his mother's, but according to a police report, the gun was traced through a national database to its rightful owner. She told McKeesport police the revolver had been kept in her car, which had been reported stolen a week before from a nearby municipality. The firearm's owner denied knowing Rodgers, police said.

William Rodgers is charged by McKeesport police with fleeing and eluding police, recklessly endangering another person, disorderly conduct, possession of controlled substances, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident and failing to stop and render aid or assistance. He is free on $2,500 percentage bond pending a preliminary hearing Oct. 4 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi.

Ni'Quan Rodgers is charged by city police with receiving stolen property, carrying a firearm without a license, carrying a prohibited offensive weapon, tampering with physical evidence and receiving stolen property. He also is free on $2,500 percentage bond pending an Oct. 4 hearing before Riazzi.

Cooper is charged by McKeesport police with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. He is free pending a preliminary hearing Nov. 8 before Riazzi.

A fourth vehicle was stopped and its driver was briefly detained, but police said they determined that it was not involved in the incident. Although the driver was released without being charged, a small amount of marijuana was recovered from the vehicle and will be destroyed, police said.

Originally published September 22, 2021.

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