When the man bumped into Jennifer Papa on a University City street Nov. 17, she first thought it was nothing more serious than an attack of bad manners.
But then Troy Brown stopped in front of her and a friend, turned to her and allegedly demanded money.
Prosecutors said that was the M.O. of the city's "Screwdriver Bandit."
Both women testified that they told Brown they didn't have any money. He believed Papa's friend, but allegedly persisted with Papa. He told her friend, "I'm gonna punch this b---- in the face unless she gives me the money," Papa testified before Common Pleas Court Judge Marsha Neifield.
Brown is being held on charges stemming from nine incidents in November 2006 in which prosecutors said he approached his victims with a screwdriver and demanded money.
At his preliminary hearing yesterday, Brown sat next to his attorney, Alston Meade, seemingly uninterested in the proceedings.
Assistant District Attorney Brian Zarallo called the nine women, who detailed their frightening encounters with Brown.
After each witness testified, Meade requested that Judge Neifield downgrade the charges from first-degree to second-degree felony robbery.
Neifield agreed to do that in one of the cases, but ruled the charges in the rest of the cases would remain unchanged.
The other witnesses, one of whom was pregnant at the time, testified against Brown and detailed their attacks. In most cases, Brown was said to have made off with petty cash, cell phones and credit cards.
Judge Neifield held Brown for an arraignment May 25. *