updated 3/27/2009 8:46:23 PM ET 2009-03-28T00:46:23

A retired police chief says he was robbed by "probably the dumbest criminal in Pennsylvania."

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It happened Friday morning at a hotel hosting a police officers' convention near Harrisburg that drew 300 narcotics officers from Pennsylvania and Ohio.

John Comparetto says as he came out of a stall in the men's bathroom, a man pointed a gun in his face and demanded money.

Comparetto, a retired police chief from New York, gave up his money and cell phone. But when the man fled, Comparetto and some colleagues chased him. They arrested 19-year-old Jerome Marquis Blanchett of Harrisburg as he was trying to leave in a taxi.

Blanchett, who was awaiting trial of four previous robbery charges, was arraigned Friday before a District Court judge who set bail at $1 million.

When a reporter asked Blanchett for comment as he was led out of court, he said, "I'm smooth."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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