Philadelphia man pleads guilty in Upper Southampton kidnapping, robbery

A 37-year-old man pleaded guilty on Friday, March 25, 2022, to kidnapping a young man last year in Upper Southampton Township, forcing him at knifepoint to drive to an ATM to withdraw money and threatening to kill him and his mother.

Pavel Belous, of Philadelphia, had been scheduled for a jury trial Friday, but instead entered an open guilty plea to two counts of attempted homicide and one count each of kidnapping, robbery, simple assault, terroristic threats, theft by unlawful taking and possession of an instrument of crime.

He entered the plea before President Judge Wallace H. Bateman Jr., who ordered a pre-sentence investigation and deferred sentencing for 90 days.

In court Friday, Deputy District Attorney Robert D. James described how Belous stalked the victim for an hour on March 11, 2021, after a chance encounter at a Philadelphia convenience store.

Belous followed the victim to three locations, often driving with his lights turned off to avoid detection, before confronting the victim at knifepoint in the parking lot of a McDonald’s restaurant in Upper Southampton, James said.

That began a frightening ordeal that ended only after the victim pulled out his Boy Scout knife and stabbed Belous in the back.

The victim was sitting in his car at 10:30 p.m. on March 11, 2021, eating food he had just purchased at the McDonald’s, 338 Second Street Pike in Upper Southampton, when a masked man got into the passenger’s side seat, put a knife to the victim’s throat and demanded money.

In surveillance video played in court by James, Belous can be seen at the same convenience store in Philadelphia where the victim had been an hour earlier. Surveillance footage also showed Belous’ driving around the McDonald’s with his lights off before parking next to the victim’s car. 

When Belous first threatened the victim with a knife to his throat, the victim said he noticed that he had dried blood on his hands. In response, Belous told the victim he had no problem killing him, because he has killed before.

The victim gave Belous $20, but Belous wanted more and forced the victim to drive to an ATM where the victim withdrew $450. Deputy District Attorney James played surveillance footage from the ATM showing Belous standing next to the victim as he withdrew money.

During the ordeal, Belous removed his face covering and threatened to kill the victim because he saw his face and could identify him. Belous ordered the victim to drive him to his home to get more money.

As he drove to his home, the victim secretly called 911, but hung up before the call was answered. He then called his mother to say he was bringing a friend over.

When they got to his house, the victim’s mother was outside and Belous threatened to “cut his throat,” and “rape and kill your mother,” James said. He threatened he would then “burn your house down,” and said he had “killed people before,” James continues.

They both got out of the car, but the victim was able to retrieve his folding knife from his car and stabbed Belous in the back. The victim ran inside his house and called 911, and police found Belous hiding in the victim’s car and arrested him.

The Upper Southampton Police Department, led by Detective Anthony Marseglia, handled the investigation.

During the investigation, Bucks County authorities learned that Belous was charged with killing a man in Philadelphia. That killing, according to Philadelphia Homicide Detectives, happened less than a week before the Upper Southampton robbery and kidnapping. The victim in the Philadelphia killing had his throat cut, and his home was then set on fire, the same violent acts he threatened in Bucks County.

Deputy District Attorney Robert D. James prosecuted this case for the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office.

Media Contact: Manuel Gamiz Jr., 215.348.6298, mgamiz@buckscounty.org