Category Archives: Police & Fire

Large Number of Local Businesses Vandalized

michael's furniture

Michael’s Furniture Truck Post-Vandalism

Businesses in downtown Ellwood City have the been the recent target of a series of vandalism acts involving rocks from the railroad tracks.

The Ellwood City Police Department is currently searching for those responsible for the damages.

The incidents began happening on November 21 when Joe Morabito reported that the windows at his building on the 200 block of 5th Street were broken.

Upon investigation, police discovered that the windows had been smashed with large rocks.

Morabito’s building was vandalized yet again on December 1. Two display windows and an upstairs window were broken, while other windows were also scuffed with rocks.

While Morabito and police were evaluating the damage done on the first, they noticed that several windows had also been destroyed in Herman Feldman’s law office. Rocks from the railroad tracks were found outside of the building.

Another business had also been targeted on the first, Korco Manufacturing. Located on Keystone Way, an unknown actor shattered the garage door window, office window and two lights with rocks.

Two cars were then damaged on Fifth Street between the dates of December 8 and December 12. A white Ford Thunderbird had its windows busted and a white Chevrolet Van had two of its tires slashed.

Within a three day period, three major businesses along with Christmas in the Park were largely vandalized.

Police were dispatched to Michael’s Furniture Plus on December 13 for their damaged delivery truck. All the windows and lights were broken out of the truck, which can be seen in the picture above. Michael’s also had their store’s front windows smashed.

McElwain’s Quick Lube and Christmas in the Park both happened on December 14. McElwain’s had two 2×3 garage windows destroyed, while Christmas in the Park reported broken bulbs and a broken flood light.

Finally, the Ellwood City Post Office on the 300 block of 7th Street reported vandalism regarding one of their mail trucks. The window on the right side door was broken with rocks.

No suspects regarding these vandalism acts have been found. If you have any pertinent information, please contact the Ellwood City Police at either (724)758-9935 or (724)758-7564.

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POLICE: Carjacking reported in Chewton, thefts

According to a published report, state police are seeking a male suspect who allegedly is responsible for a carjacking overnight on Route 288 Wayne Township in Chewton.

Police report Travis Garrett, 35, of Hickory Township, was driving along Route 288 near Oswald Street around 2:30am when he stopped to pick up a hitchhiker.  When Garrett pulled over, the male produced a handgun and ordered for Garrett out of the vehicle.

The male took Garrett’s wallet and drove east on Route 288 towards Ellwood City in a four-door, silver-colored 2009 Toyota Carolla.

According the report, the suspect is described as a black male about 6 feet tall.

AREA THEFTS:

According to published reports, thefts took place in Ellwood City and Little Beaver Township over the past few days.

Robert Bartloman was a victim of a theft at 201 Fifth Street, Apartment 8, in Ellwood City on Saturday night.  Jasime Cupac, 37, of 65 Pleasantview Homes, Beaver Falls was taken into custody after police said Cupac stole $60 from a wallet belonging to Bartloman.

According to a report, Jewelry and an undisclosed amount of cash were stolen in a burglary at the home of Charles Dean, of Little Beaver Township.  State police said the burglary took place between 8:30am and 2:45pm.

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POLICE: Woman, son charged with homicide

UPDATE 3:46pm - According to multiple news reports,  the former wife of 57-year-old Gerald Lee Orock, Jr. has been charged with homicide in his death, along with her son.

State police say Orock was lured behind Loccisano’s Golden Dawn by Lisa Marie Jones-Orock, 40, and Zachary Christopher Jones, 22, and attacked with a wooden club.  Lawrence County District Attorney Josh Lamancusa said Jones was the attacker and both have since confessed.

Along with the homicide charges, police announced the victim and his ex-wife had “long running domestic issues.”  Police also released a statement saying “This is an isolated, targeted incident.”

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UPDATE 12:33pm – According to CBS Pittsburgh, police do not know how is responsible for the the assault and state police are following up on as many leads as they can.

Police do not have a description of the suspect at this time but believe Mr. Orock was struck in the head with some sort of wooden object.

Additional reports advise investigators viewed surveillance video from the store, but are not reporting if it was any help.

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UPDATE 8:43am – State police and investigators now report Gerald Lee Orock, Jr., 57, of Fombell, was assalted and killed during a fight in the loading dock area in the rear of Loccisano’s Golden Dawn. Officers state they were called to the area in response to a fight, but upon arriving found no persons in the area.

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According to multiple news sources state police are investigating a body that was discovered behind a local grocery store Sunday night. According to police, the body was found near Loccisano’s grocery store on Pittsburgh Circle around 11 p.m. According to the sources, police say foul play is suspected in the victim’s death. The victim’s name has not been released and the cause of death is unknown.

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POLICE: Man faces charges for child pornography

Photo obtained from St. Clair's Facebook page

Photo obtained from St. Clair’s Facebook page

An Ellwood City man faces several charges in relation to child pornography

According to the report, Preston Jacob St. Clair, 25, of 1217 Hickernell Rd., was arrested by the state attorney general’s office after investigators discovered that he allegedly downloaded and distributed child pornography from his personal computer.

St. Clair’s computer showed up during a routine online investigation on July 29.  After discovering that a file of interest, the attorney general office traced 613 files to his address.

Further, a search warrant was issued to search his home on Nov. 20, and authorities interviewed St. Clair’s father, who explained that his son often shut himself in his bedroom with a laptop computer.

St. Clair was apprehended at his workplace and taken in for questioning.  He admitted to downloading and distributing child pornography, and explained that he has a problem and needs help.

Investigators found three videos on the man’s computer of children — aged 5 through 14 — engaging in various sexual acts.

St. Clair faces three counts of child pornography, two counts of disseminating photos of child sex acts, and a single count of criminal use of a communication facility.  The accused was arraigned before Judge Scott McGrath, and his charges were sent to Judge Jerry Cartwright, Jr.’s office.

He is currently being held at Lawrence County jail on $50,000 bond.

 

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POLICE: Dog attacks woman, kills her Yorkie in Ewing Park

An Ellwood City woman was cited after her pit bull slipped its collar and killed another dog.

Nancy Neghiu watched in horror as the pit bull, owned by Kasey Marie McClymonds, mauled her Yorkshire terrier to death just outside of her Petain Street home.

According to the police report, Neghiu took her dog for a walk on Friday, Nov. 7, just prior to 9 a.m.  While outside, the large gray dog approached the two and began attacking them.  She picked up her dog to protect it, then the pit bull knocked her to the ground and yanked the Yorkie from her arms.  The victim found a metal pipe and began hitting the dog, who was “shaking her dog like a rag doll.”  Her screams alerted two neighbors, who came out and chased the pit bull away.

When police arrived, they found the small dog laying dead on the sidewalk.  Witnesses explained that the attack was unprovoked.  The owner said the pit bull was tied outside for approximately 15 minutes, and broke free from its collar.

According to Article V-A of the Pa. Dogs and Cats law, “any person who has been attacked by one or more dogs, or anyone on behalf of the person, a person whose domestic animal, dog or cat has been killed or injured without provocation, the State dog warden or the local police officer may file a complaint before a magisterial district judge, charging the owners or keeper of the dog with harboring a dangerous dog.”  The dog reportedly had prior behavioral issues.

Lt. David Kingston explained that, according to the law, dogs must be declared dangerous by a magistrate in order to proceed with further action.

“The owner has been charged, and we have to wait for the outcome,” Kingston explained.  “We told the owner of the dog that she needs to follow the law by staying with the dog at all times while it is outside, and muzzling it when it leaves the property.”

If the dog is deemed dangerous, the owner must present sufficient evidence of a proper enclosure to confine the dangerous dog, post a clearly visible warning sign on the premises that there is a dangerous dog on the property, and conspicuously display a sign with a warning symbol that informs children of the presence of a dangerous dog.  Further, the owner will pay a court-ordered restitution to the victim of the dangerous dog, and pay a $500 annual fee to register the dog.

McClymonds received citations for harboring a dangerous dog and confinement and housing of dogs.

The pit bull has been retrieved, and is currently being kept at the owner’s residence.

A hearing about the incident has been set for Jan. 5 at Judge Jerry Cartwright, Jr.’s office.

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POLICE: Three men assault victim on Loop Street

Three Ellwood City men received assault charges after brutally beating a victim on Saturday evening.

Matthew Shane Webb, 19, of 701 Orchard Ave., Devin James Myers, 18, of 2 Fifth St., Apt. 4, and Shane E Mihalko, 19, of 319 Hillside Ave. allegedly harassed and collectively attacked a man on Loop Street on Nov. 15.

According to the report, the three men approached the victim at a playground located near 412 Loop St. at approximately 10 p.m.  They jumped on him and began striking him repeatedly in the head and body.  The victim pushed his attackers off and attempted to flee when one of them struck him in the front of his head with a beer bottle.  The men then threatened to “beat up” and shoot the victim and a witness.

The victim entered a nearby residence on Loop Street, while the accused stood outside and continued trying to provoke him into a fight.  When he refused, they shattered beer bottles by throwing them at the porch.

The actors left the scene after a neighbor contacted police about the incident.  A witness identified the men as Webb, Myers and Mihalko.

The victim was treated at Ellwood City Hospital and received several stitches to close a large laceration wound on his forehead.

All three men received charges of simple assault and harassment.  Also, a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Mihalko, who faces a felony charge for aggravated assault for using a beer bottle as a weapon.

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FROM THE MAYOR: Gun buyback

Ellwood City — Ellwood City Police Department, in conjunction with the Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office and District Attorney, Joshua Lamancusa and Mayor Anthony Court of Ellwood City will be participating in a Gun Take Back Campaign starting Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014 and ending Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014.

Any individual who has an unwanted gun can bring the gun to the Ellwood City Police Department starting Sunday at 9 a.m. The individual will complete a form, and the police department will take possession of the gun.  The individual will receive a check for $50 from the District Attorney’s Office in about 7-10 business. Individuals may bring the guns to the police department between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., daily. Individual(s) bringing guns to the police station should make sure the gun is unloaded and secured prior to arriving at the police station.

The program was started after a mother, Deborah Murdock who’s son Richard Hogue was murdered in Ellwood City last year on Nov. 16, 2013.  Deborah Murdock had actively requested the District Attorney to adopt such a program to be conducted during the anniversary week of her son’s death. Deborah Murdock promoted the program with the District Attorney and Ellwood City Mayor Anthony Court and Lt. Kingston. New Castle Police Department and Ellwood City Police Department will be drop off points for the guns.

Anybody having questions concerning the gun buyback program can contact the Ellwood City Police Department at (724) 759-9935 or the police department’s non-emergency dispatch number (724) 758-7564.

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POLICE: Man found unconscious from apparent drug use

An Ellwood City man faces charges after paramedics found another man unconscious at his home from apparent drug use.

Police arrived at the home of Jason Frank Reid, 35, of 521 Wampum Ave., apt. 4, on Friday, Oct. 31, at approximately 11:55 p.m., and found an unconscious man with brown saliva and mucus emanating from his nose and mouth.

Ellwood City fire fighters, Noga medics, and officers spoke with Reid, who claimed to not know what happened to the man.  The defendant identified the man as his neighbor’s boyfriend who was “just over hanging out.”  The officers discovered eight pills in a Rite Aid pill bottle with the label ripped off, and a baggy of what they suspected as marijuana on the unconscious man.  Reid stated that the bottle contained three Adderall pills, but he was unsure of the rest.

Reid allowed police to search the residence, and they located two marijuana pipes, and a large bag of the white pills, later identified as Tramadol, found on the unconscious man.  Reid stated that he was holding one of the pipes, and the bag of pills for his neighbor’s boyfriend.  When the man came to at Ellwood City Hospital, he explained that he had a drug problem, and that Reid sold him pills.  Also, he said that the pipe was not his.

Reid faces two charges of delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

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POLICE: EC woman run over by own car at mailbox

An Ellwood City woman sustained undisclosed injuries Tuesday evening after being hit by her own car in a Line Avenue parking lot.

According to police, Nancy Melinda Thomas, 62, of 724 Line Ave., was knocked to the ground by her 2013 Fiat while trying to put mail into a United States Postal Service mailbox outside of State Representative Jaret Gibbons’ office at 428 Line Ave.  Thomas exited the vehicle, which contains a manual transmission, believing that the emergency break was on and that the car was out of gear.  When she got to the mailbox, the car began to roll out of the parking lot and onto Line Avenue.  While trying to re-enter the vehicle, Thomas was knocked to the ground.  The Fiat drifted south across the road and into a row of hedges beyond the sidewalk.  It was unclear if Thomas was dragged by the vehicle.

The victim was taken to Ellwood City Hospital for further evaluation.  No other injuries were reported at the scene.

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COURT: Webb faces charges in separate incidents

An Ellwood City man secured two court dates with following separate incidents of burglary and drug possession.  Matthew Webb, 19, of 701 Orchard Ave., will appear before Judge Jerry Cartwright on Nov.19, at 9:30 a.m., then again on Dec. 2, at 9:30 am.

On multiple occasions police attempted to question Webb about a burglary they began investigating in August 2013 that occurred at Weller’s Flea Market at 130 Wampum Ave.  According to criminal complaint, police responded to an investigation of burglary at the flea market on Aug. 27 that happened overnight.  The actor used some type of bar to pry the rear entrance open, and broke the deadbolt in the process to gain entry to the building.  After breaking in, he/she allegedly stole several retail items, including jewelry and power tools.

During the investigation, police obtained addresses to two locations in New Castle that purchased and resold jewelry: Greeks House of Gold, located at 368 1/2 E. Washington St., and New Castle Gold Company, located at 2201 Wilmington Rd.

At Greeks House of Gold, an employee gave officers a receipt from Aug. 28 detailing the purchase of rings confirmed to belong to Weller’s Flea Market.  The receipt depicted Webb as the person involved in the transaction, which amounted to $106, thus confirming his possession of the stolen goods.  Then, police discovered a receipt from Aug. 31, at 11:35 a.m., showing that Webb again sold silver rings from Weller’s Flea Market to Greeks House of Gold for a total of $14.  Furthermore, the defendant sold rings on Aug. 31, at 11:45 a.m. to New Castle Gold Company for $9.

Approximately three months later, on Dec.9, officers recovered two chainsaws taken in the burglary at Hamilton Tool & Supply in Beaver Falls.  Verification of the purchases showed that Webb sold the Poulan Pro and Home Lite chainsaws to the tool and supply store for $50 on Aug. 29.

He refused to speak with police about the matter on several occasions, including an occurrence when New Castle Police detained him for a disturbance, so he received a summons to appear in court on Dec. 2.

On Oct. 16, Webb earned a second court date after officers found several individually wrapped plastic baggies of marijuana on him after they responded to a call about a man wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt with black shorts carrying a gun on his waistband while at McDonald’s parking lot on 5th Street.

Police arrived to find Webb, who matched the description, standing near the parking lot entrance.  They found ten baggies of marijuana, packaged to sell, on the accused.  He told the officers that he possessed it for personal use.  Police seized the marijuana.

Webb faces one count of receiving stolen property for the first case, and possession of marijuana in the second case.

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