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Man indicted in purse-snatching assault

Marcus Blackeney

Marcus Blackeney

LAWRENCEVILLE -- The Lawrenceville man accused of violently assaulting a woman during a purse-snatching outside a pharmacy last month was indicted Wednesday in Gwinnett County Superior Court.

Marcus Blakeney, 20, allegedly assaulted a 38-year-old woman outside the CVS pharmacy at 1525 Buford Drive on the evening of Feb. 10, striking the victim in the face and arm about eight times.

According to police, the woman tried to flee her vehicle before Blakeney locked the doors, took her purse and fled. The crime triggered a manhunt that brought in a Gwinnett County Sheriff K-9 unit and police helicopter that night, ending when the purse and Blakeney's cell phone were found in the yard of a nearby home.

The victim had a swollen face and was taken to Gwinnett Medical Center for treatment. Her Coach purse contained a Sony camera, a wallet with bank cards, Starbucks gift cards and other items, Blakeney's arrest warrant said.

Blakeney was indicted this week on two counts of robbery, armed robbery and false imprisonment. Gwinnett County Jail records show he has remained incarcerated since his Feb. 16 arrest.

Man indicted in arson

Another Lawrenceville man was also indicted this week on charges stemming from an incident in which authorities said he attempted to set his girlfriend's home afire in the wake of a domestic dispute.

Firefighters reported to the home on Stone Hollow Place on Aug. 11 after a neighbor reported seeing flames on the side of the house, dousing them with a garden hose after calling authorities.

Fire investigators later discovered that a female living at the home had gotten in a fight with 21-year-old boyfriend Joshua Rotkaen earlier that day. After discovering a firework device in close proximity to the home's burned siding, investigators interviewed Rotkaen, leading to his arrest.

"During a questioning at his home, Rotkaen admitted to causing the fire with a firework device," fire department spokesman Capt. Tommy Rutledge said at the time.

Rotkaen was indicted Wednesday on charges of battery, false imprisonment and first-degree arson.