Category Archives: Police & Fire

Police: DUI Warrants and Domestic Violence


  • According to the police report, on Tuesday, May 5 around 11:00 a.m., an officer on patrol spotted Ryan Daniel Russo, 34, of Ellwood City on 13th Street. Russo had two warrants for DUIs. Russo ran behind Dollar General and was pursued by officers. The chase went past the West End Cafe to Beaver Avenue where Russo was finally apprehended. The charge of attempting to escape was added to his previous charges. He was arraigned by Magistrate Jennifer Nicholson on a $1000 bond and committed to the Lawrence County Jail.

Simple Assault

  • According to the police report, on Wednesday, April 29 around 11:45 p.m., police were informed of a domestic dispute on Crescent Avenue. Officers arrived at the residence where Robert Trey Brown, 26, of Ellwood City, requested officers to hand cuff him. He and Rebecca Linn Bastianni (Reese) got into an argument. Brown pushed Bastianni to the floor. Bastiannia landed on a picture frame on the floor and cut her foot on the broken glass. Brown also poured beer on Bastianni’s head and threatened her with violence. Brown was arrested on simple assault charges.
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Police: Drug Dealer Arrested; Juvenile Criminal Mischief

Possessions with Intent to Deliver:
Ellwood City and state police arrested a man for possession with intent to deliver on April 28. According to the police report, Taurean Potter, 29, had 3 warrants in Lawrence County and 2 in Beaver. State, Beaver County, and Ellwood City police cooperated in an operation to apprehend Potter. On Tuesday, officers arrived at Potter’s girlfriend’s residence at Wayne Ave. A search found cocaine and marijuana. Potter was hiding in the basement behind the furnace under a sheet. He was taken into custody and admitted he intended to deliver cocaine.

Criminal Mischief
According to the police report, on April 27, around 6:30 p.m., officers were dispatched to Ewing Park in response to a criminal mischief complaint. 3-4 juveniles, at least 1 a female, were overturning and damaging tables and garbage cans by the swimming pool. Police estimated there was about $400 dollars worth in damage. Investigating officers could find no cooperative witnesses or further evidence.

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Police: Fentanyl-Laced Heroin Confirmed in February Overdose Death

Police confirmed that an overdose death in February was caused by fentanyl-laced heroin.

Since December, there have been 5 overdose deaths in the Ellwood Borough. One in December was from opiates, probably oxycodone. In addition to the laced-heroin, another overdose in February was from pharmaceuticals. Also in February, an overdose in North Sewickley Township was caused by a fentanyl patch.

The cause of the two overdoses in April are still pending lab results.

Lt. David Kingston, ranking police officer, said that overdoses from fentanyl have occurred in Ellwood before, but fentanyl-laced heroin is rare to the area.

“Opiates aren’t as prevalent,” Kingston said. “Heroin is similar and cheaper, so people go for that. Sometimes they settle for meth.”

About Fentanyl
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opiate used for anesthesia. It is similar to but more potent than morphine. It is typically used to treat patients with severe pain after surgery.

Mixing fentanyl with heroin increases the effect but also increases the danger.


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Fentanyl-Laced Heroin Possible Cause in Two Local Deaths

Two people have died in Ellwood City this month from what could have been a heroin overdose.

According to a published report, the deaths coincide with the arrival of fentanyl-laced heroin in Lawrence County. Fentanyl is a painkiller that is sometimes used to increase heroin’s potency, but also increases the deadliness.

According to Lt Kingston, Ellwood City police ranking officer, it is currently unknown if the deaths were caused by heroin, fentanyl-laced heroin, or just fentanyl. The answer won’t be known until toxicology reports are completed, which could take several weeks.

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Police: Campaign Sign Stolen


According to the police report, around noon on April 21 a local resident reported Ralph Chiappetta’s campaign sign at the intersection of Fountain Ave and Pittsburgh Circle was missing. The sign read “Elect Chiappetta Councilman.” Investigating officers viewed video surveillance from T&M Hardware which showed an individual take the sign around 5:50 a.m. that morning. The video will be enhanced to aid in identification.


According to the police reports, officers responded to a complaint of suspicious activity on April 19, around 5:30 a.m. Investigating officers arrived at an apartment on Wampum Ave to find Casey Casciato, 48, of Ellwood City, beating on a door. He was taken into custody for public drunkenness. A background check showed that there were warrants for Casciato in Beaver County for simple assault and failure to appear in court. He was transferred to the Beaver County Police Department.

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Police: Woman Arrested for Retail Theft

An Ellwood City woman was arrested on March 27 for retail theft.

Around 6:30, March 27, officers were dispatched to Dollar General on 1221 Lawrence Ave after employees saw a woman placing items in her purse.

When officers arrived, they identified the suspect as Brienna Ashworth, 27, of Ellwood City. She was detained while exiting the store. Police recovered 5 pairs of socks and 1 green frog rain hat, with a total value of $15.75.

Ashworth denied stealing the items. However, video surveillance showed her placing the items in her purse. She was released disposition pending.

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Police: Two Accused of Distributing Illegal Gambling Machines

According to a published report, Frank R. Medure, 63, of Neshannock Township, and Frank C. Medure, 33, of Union Township, were arraigned before Judge Jerry Cartwright on Thursday morning facing charges of operating illegal gambling machines.

According to the report, the Medures distributed illegal gambling machines to a multitude of local establishments, including the following in Ellwood City:

  • Alvink’s Hawg Wild, 703 Lawrence Ave., Ellwood City
  • Double Dealin’ Cafe, 104 Spring Ave., Ellwood City
  • Steele Gate, 225 First Ave., Ellwood City
  • Keystone Bar, 210 First St., Ellwood City

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ECPD Initiates Drug Sweep

From the office of the Ellwood City Mayor:

After a year-long investigation, the Ellwood City Police Department initiated a round-up of 10 cocaine and heroin street level drug dealers. Police have eight individuals in custody and have issued warrants for 2 other individuals.

By continuing this pro-active approach, we will continue our assault against illegal drugs in Ellwood City and increase drug related arrests past the 306 that have transpired since I have taken office.

I’m also happy to report: No injuries to any officers in this raid.  Also, thank you to the Lawrence County Drug Task. We’ve accomplished a lot – and I want to make it quite clear – There’s more to do!

Thank you,

Mayor Anthony J. Court

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Police: Man Apprehended After Robbing Unimart

A Bessemer man was arrested on March 6 following an investigation into a robbery.

According to the police report, at approximately 11:00 a.m. on Friday, March 6, officers were dispatched to Unimart on Beaver Ave after an attempted robbery.

The store owner, Ikhlaq Mohammad Ansari, reported that a male had entered the store, demanded money, and said he was armed. Ansari responded, “I have a gun also.” Ansari informed police that the suspect then fled to his car and drove over a snow pile, almost flipping over.

Investigating officers examined video surveillance which provided a clear image of the suspect and were able to identify him as Gerald Brandt, 36, of Bessmer.

Police went to Brandt’s residence on Beechwood Ave where Ashley Brandt, Gerald’s wife, informed officers that Gerald was working in Ellwood City at Hall Industry. Police went to Hall Industry and talked to the manager who led them to Brandt. Officers took Brandt into custody.

Brandt is charged with robbery, simple assault, and recklessly endangering another person. He was arraigned before Magistrate David Rishel, and his bond is placed at $15,000.


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Police: DUI on a Quad, Fight at the Oak Grove Inn


According to the police report, on March 1 around 2:10 a.m., an officer observed two quads on Lawrence Ave driving recklessly. The officer followed the quads until they separated. The officer pursued one to 2nd Street where the quad got stuck in snow. The driver, Mathew McClean, 25, of Beaver Falls, appeared to be intoxicated and there were empty beer cans in his backpack. He was taken to the hospital and found to be intoxicated. He was arrested and later released, disposition pending.

Disorderly Conduct:

According to the police report, at 2:00 a.m. on February 28, officers were called to the Oak Grove Inn. They found two men holding two other men down. Investigating officers discovered that Jacob Palm, 23, of Beaver Falls, and Jarret McCary, 36, of Ellwood City, had gotten into a heated argument and came to blows. They were both cited with disorderly conduct. Jacob Palm’s father, Thomas Palm, 53, of Ellwood City, also proved to be disorderly when police arrived and was cited.

Narcotics Possession:

According to the police report, on the morning of March 3 a patrolling officer in Stiefel Park approached a parked car. The investigating officer saw two people in the car and what appeared to be a small amount of marijuana in the vehicle. The officer ran a background check on the driver, Daniel Lagala, 26, of Ellwood City, which revealed that his license was suspended. He was charged with possession, driving while suspended, and expired inspection.

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