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Lancaster County man accused of attacking Uber driver with hatchet during robbery

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ELIZABETHTOWN, Lancaster County — A 30-year-old Lancaster County man is facing charges after allegedly attacking his Uber driver with a hatchet, according to Elizabethtown police.

Brett T. Brown, of the 700 block of South Spruce Street, is charged with robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, aggravated assault and loitering and prowling at night time in connection with an incident that happened early Tuesday morning.

According to police, the victim approached two officers who were assisting with a disabled vehicle at about 5:50 a.m.. The victim reported that he had been struck in the head, and was unable to call police because his cell phones had been stolen.

The victim told police he had picked up two men and a woman in York, and they requested he drive them to Elizabethtown. When they arrived in front of the Elizabethtown Sporting Goods store on the first block of East College Avenue, the victim said, the male, who was sitting in the back seat of the vehicle, attacked him. The victim reported that the male suspect hit him in the right side of the head with a hatchet, police say.

According to the criminal complaint, the victim sustained a cut to his right forearm during the altercation. The victim told police that after the attack, the trio fled on foot from his vehicle, leaving a knife and other property inside. They did take a black garment bag from the truck of the car before fleeing, the victim reported.

One of the items left behind was a woman’s purse, the victim said.

Police found the purse and were able to use the ID inside to identify one of the female passengers, who had a York address.

Police then returned to the scene of the alleged attack, where a witness reported seeing a white male running on foot through a nearby parking lot, leaving tracks in the snow. Police followed the footprints until they ended at a residence on the 700 block of South Spruce Street, according to the criminal complaint.

Officers spoke to a resident in the neighborhood, who reported that Brett Brown lived inside the residence where the tracks ended.

Police then spoke to Brown, the criminal complaint says. While talking to him, they noticed a pair of wet sneakers and a pair of black sweatpants, which were also wet, with clumps of snow in the lower pant legs. Police also noted the tread pattern of the sneakers matched the prints left in the snow, according to the criminal complaint.

Police then took Brown into custody.

After searching the rear of the residence, police found a black garment bag matching the description of the one the suspects took from the victim’s car, police say. Under the garment bag was a hatchet, according to police.