Trial date set in teen's robbery case

Robert L. Deleon is accused of attacking a truck driver near Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts earlier this month.

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WALLA WALLA -- A 16-year-old youth pleaded innocent this morning to attacking a delivery truck driver earlier this month behind Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts in Eastgate.

Robert L. Deleon is scheduled for trial March 18 in the Juvenile Department of Superior Court on charges of first-degree robbery, second-degree assault and second-degree vehicle prowl. If convicted, he could be incarcerated for several years.

Deleon is accused of being one of two male teenagers involved in a confrontation with Jonathan Dickson of Portland near the back door of Jo-Ann's, 481 N. Wilbur Ave., about 8 p.m. Feb. 2.

Dickson reportedly had been in the cab of his truck when he heard noises and came upon Deleon and the other teen who allegedly had broken into the semi's trailer, according to a police report filed in court. Officials said Deleon struck Dickson with a decorative lantern that had been taken from the trailer and both teens fled through a yard.

Deleon, of 525 S.E. Sixth St., College Place, later was identified as a suspect and arrested Feb. 10. In an interview with police before he was arrested, he admitted entering the trailer and assaulting Dickson, according to the police report.

Dickson was treated at a local hospital for facial lacerations following the assault.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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