Carlisle man who pulled knife on Middletown delivery driver declared competent for trial

A Carlisle man accused of pulling a knife on an Amazon driver and fighting with officers during an arrest attempt has been found competent to stand trial, and his insanity plea was rejected.

Christopher Roberts, 35, of Carlisle, who was shot by the delivery person when he allegedly pulled a knife and moved toward him, was in Butler County Common Pleas Court this week for a pre-trial hearing on charges of assault on a police officer, a fourth-degree felony and resisting arrest, a misdemeanor for the incident that happened in August in Middletown.

Roberts was also indicted for felonious assault, a second-degree felony and aggravated menacing a misdemeanor, in a separate indictment involved crimes against the Amazon delivery driver. Both cases are now being heard by Judge Noah Powers II.

At his arraignment in October, bond was set at $25,000 cash or surety. He entered a not guilty by reason of insanity plea, and a psychological evaluation was ordered.

On Monday, after reviewing the report, Powers found Roberts competent to stand trial and denied the NGRI plea. Roberts is scheduled to be back in court Jan. 3.

The incident happened shortly before 5 a.m. Aug. 7 in the 4500 block of Central Avenue. The delivery driver, Gino Grove, said a man “came out of nowhere with a knife and moved toward him,” said Sgt. Earl Nelson. That is when the delivery driver shot the man in the leg.

“The Amazon guy was delivering packages, a man came out of nowhere waiving a knife — we think strung out ... the Amazon driver fired and hit him in the leg,” the sergeant said.

Nelson said the man who was shot, identified as Roberts, fled the area and was eventually found by officers, then transported Atrium Medical Center for treatment.

In the 911 call, Grove said Roberts tried to attack him with a knife, and “I just discharged my firearm.”

At about 5 p.m., officers received a call for the area of Rosedale Road and Magnolia Drive involving Roberts. He walked out of the hospital without permission and was acting strangely, according to the police report.

Witnesses said the man was trying to get in the sewers.

When officers arrived, Roberts was gone, but officers continued to search the area, finding a walkway through the tree line toward a creek bank.

Roberts was found in the creek “flailing in the water underneath a log,” according to the report.

Initially, Roberts complied with orders from officers but said “nope, not doing that” when the officer attempted to handcuff him, according to the report.

There was a tussle and an officer deployed a Taser, hitting Roberts several times before he complied with orders, according to police. He was transported to the hospital where he underwent surgery for the gunshot wound.

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