Category Archives: Police & Fire

POLICE REPORT: Criminal Mischief; Arson; Assault; DUI

Criminal Mischief:

  • According to the police report, Donald McClosky reported criminal mischief his home on the 500 block of 13th Street on 7/21. At some point during the night, an unknown actor through a brick through McClosky’s front window. The actor vandalized his home by throwing fruit, vegetables, bottles and eggs and squirting ketchup and mustard on the sides of his house. The person also broke two windows in the victim’s RV that was parked in the back of his residence. The actor was unidentifiable due to a shirt that was covering his face.

Criminal Mischief to Automobiles:

  • According to the police report, Deputy Sheriff John Baldelli reported criminal mischief to his 2007 white Ford Sedan on 7/25. At some point during the night, an unknown actor got on top of the hood of the vehicle and kicked in the front windshield while the vehicle was parked on the 400 block of First Avenue. There was a footprint on the hood where the actor was standing. The car belongs to Lawrence County. No other vehicles were damaged on the street.
  • According to the police report, an actor was charged in a criminal mischief incident involving the vehicle of Mayor Anthony Court on 7/19. While Mayor Court’s vehicle was parked in the Municipal Building Parking Lot at 525 Lawrence Avenue, an actor placed a can of Armour Vienna Bites under his tire. Once the Mayor ran over the can, it exploded and caused damage to his vehicle. The incident was caught on the Municipal Building’s security cameras, showing Taylor Foley, 18, responsible for the incident. She was charged with criminal mischief to automobiles, disorderly conduct and littering.

Arson to Motor Vehicle:

  • According to the police report, a witness reported that they could see a car on fire at Stiefel Park on 7/24 at around 3:30 a.m. After the witness was woken up by the car’s alarm, they also observed two more cars parked beside the vehicle that was on fire. When police arrived, several firefighters had already responded and were working to put the fire out. A red gas can was found 10 feet away from the car. The vehicle, which was a 2002 silver Chevrolet Cavalier, belonged to John Wilson Jr. Police went to the home of Wilson, 220 12th Street Extension, but no one was there and the residence looked abandoned. The car was towed the following day.

Assault:

  • According to the police report, police were dispatched to 517 Spring Avenue for a male that was lying on the sidewalk and bleeding from the head. David Adamovich, 45, stated that he had been drinking at the West End Cafe and decided to walk home after midnight on 7/21. While on Spring Avenue, he was approached by a group of juveniles who asked him for his wallet. They then proceeded to attack the victim with a chain as well as hitting and kicking him. The juveniles got away with lottery tickets, two utility knives and $14.00. Adamovich was treated at the Ellwood City Hospital for deep cuts on his head. Police are still searching for the attackers.

Driving Under the Influence Alcohol:

  • According to the police report, a witness reported an erratic driver in a 2001 black Chevrolet Cavalier near Woodside Avenue on 7/21 at around 4:40 p.m. The reporting officer found the driver sitting inside the vehicle outside his home, 205 Johnston Drive. He was identified as Jeremy Hughes, 41, who was visibly intoxicated with his slurred speech, trouble balancing and red/flushed face and eyes. Hughes denied both drinking and driving erratically. He failed to pass the field sobriety tests and was transported to the Ellwood City Hospital for chemical testing. While at the hospital, Hughes admitted to have been drinking that day. Tests revealed his blood alcohol level was above the legal limit. He was released and will be receiving his summons in the mail. The vehicle belonged to Hughes’ girlfriend, Dori Sloan.
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Detroit Man Charged with Connection to Shooting

In continuing the investigation of the Loop Street shooting Sunday night, state police charged a Detroit-area man with connections to the incident.

According to a local news source, Jeffrey Christopher Sack Jr., 22, of Highland Park, Mich., was charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and simple assault on Monday.

The triple shooting, which occurred at the Walnut Ridge Apartments at 10:15 p.m. Sunday, left one dead and two hospitalized after the incident.

Thomas Lee Everett Paris, 43, was found dead in a vehicle at The Ranch, after friends attempted to get him help. Rashund Alteric Smith, 34, and Jessica Lynn Jackson, 29, were both flown to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh.

All of the victims were from New Castle.

According to reports, Sack was trying to leave the scene when he struck Smith with his vehicle. He is currently being held on $100,000 bond at the Lawrence County Jail.

State police, who are being aided by Ellwood City police, are currently investigating claims that the suspect was able to shoot from a nearby vehicle. It is believed that the shooting occurred over a domestic dispute between Smith and an unidentified woman, according to police.

State police will proceed in examining the shooting.

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One Dead, Two Hurt in Ellwood Shooting

According to a local news source, a triple shooting occurred Sunday evening in an Ellwood City apartment complex, leaving one dead and two wounded.

The shooting took place at around 10:15 p.m. in the Walnut Ridge Apartments on Loop Street, according to reports.

Thomas Lee Everett Paris, 43, Rashund Alteric Smith, 34, and Jessica Lynn Jackson, 29, all of New Castle, were shot during the incident.

Paris, who was shot once, was driven from Loop Street to The Ranch, a bar located on Ellwood Road, in attempts to get him help. Police later found Paris dead in the car in the parking lot of The Ranch.

Smith, who had received multiple gun wounds, and Jackson, who had been shot once, were both flown to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh. Reports described their injuries as “non-life threatening”.

According to the local news, police believe the shooting was triggered by a domestic dispute between Smith and an unidentified woman.

At this time, no one has yet been charged in this incident.

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POLICE REPORT: Criminal Mischief; Public Drunkenness

Criminal Mischief:

  • According to the police report, officers were dispatched to Ewing Park to meet with the Park Superintendent Jim Arkett. At some point over the night of July 10, there were multiple acts of criminal mischief in Ewing Park. The unknown actors removed all the paper towels from the portable hand wash unit and threw them all over the surrounding area. They then emptied all of the soap dispensers and damaged them. Also, the actors tipped over a portable toilet and scattered rubbish in the pool parking lot. Investigation regarding this case will continue.

Criminal Mischief to  Automobiles:

  • According to the police report, Linda Boots reported criminal mischief to her 2003 blue Chevrolet Cavalier on 7/15. The reporting officer was dispatched to Boots’ home, 104 Thirteenth Street, for a smashed windshield at around 2:30 a.m. The victim stated that her children saw a black truck pull out of their driveway through the open front door after the incident. No suspects have been found at this time.
  • According to the police report, Rhiannon Schnell reported criminal mischief to her 2012 white Chevrolet Traverse on 7/14. She told police that someone keyed her car between July 11 at 9:00 p.m. and July 13 at 7:00 a.m. The key left a 12 inch vertical line on the back of her vehicle next to another key scratch someone did two months ago. Schnell just wanted police to be aware of this incident.
  • According to the police report, Joseph Boots and Tina Boots reported criminal mischief to their 1996 Dodge Truck on 7/15. Joseph Boots told police that he was sleeping at his home, 814 Fifth Street, when he heard beating on his walls and his truck window being smashed at around 2:00 a.m.. A witness saw three individuals outside the home and then throw a brick through the truck’s passenger window and windshield. The witness also saw the actors drive away in a black Kia. Tina Boots is the owner of the car, but her brother is the one who drives it. She stated that he had just recently fixed the windshield as it was smashed prior to this night. They later were identified as Taylor Foley, 18, Adam Pounds, 23 and Joseph Pounds, 20. The trio was charged with loitering and prowling, while Adam Pounds also picked up criminal mischief charges.

Public Drunkenness:

  • According to the police report, Mike Tomasello called police over a drunk male fighting with him at his residence, 423 Spring Avenue. The reporting officer arrived to see George Lordi, 53, trying to leave the home. The police began yelling stop at Lordi, but he refused. He was eventually stopped along Keystone way. Lordi was heavily intoxicated and carrying a bag of beer with him. When police returned with him to Spring Avenue, he continued to yell and argue. Lordi was then placed under arrest for public drunkenness.
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Local Businessman Killed in Murder-Suicide

A Wayne Township man shot his stepfather Friday night after an argument broke out at their home, 4347 Ellwood Road.

According to local reports, Justin Burnett, 29, shot Douglas Weingartner, 60, four times at around 10:30 p.m. in Weingartner’s bedroom.

Burnett then went to the living room where he pointed his gun at his mother, Jo Ellen Weingartner, before shooting himself in the head. A .40-caliber handgun was used as the weapon during the incident, according to police.

Weingartner was a local Ellwood City businessman. He was the owner of Paul’s Auto Body Shop, 810 Woodside Avenue, which had been passed down to him from his father.

Both men were pronounced dead on the scene.

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Ellwood City Boy Drowns in Creek

Yesterday evening rescue squads were called to the Slippery Rock Creek, after an Ellwood City teenager drowned around 4:30 p.m.

According to a local news source, the boy was swimming across the creek with friends when the current became too strong. He went under the water and never came back up.

The boy was later recovered from the creek and identified as 17-year-old John Wayne Durnell of Ellwood City. He attended the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center.

Neshannock, New Castle, Scott Township, Slippery Rock and Volant Fire Departments all responded to the 25 minute rescue search as well as ambulance and state police, according to reports.

Kennedy Mills, a popular swimming area located near Frew Mill Road, is known for its dangerous current after a local man drowned last year in the same spot.

Police are still investigating the incident.

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ESB Bank Robbed at Gunpoint

ESB Bank in Franklin Township was robbed by an armed man Friday afternoon.

The unknown actor, described as a white, six foot male, entered the bank at 1:30 p.m. on Friday. According to the witnesses, the robber had a hunting mask over his head and was carrying a semiautomatic handgun.

The male ordered all bank employees and customers to get on the floor. He then took an unverified amount of money from multiple tellers’ drawers.

The actor then fled the scene in a white Pontiac Grand Am with a covered license plate, according to reports.

No one was injured in the incident, but the bank was closed for the remainder of the day on Friday. It returned to its normal business hours on Saturday.

The Franklin Township Police have been reviewing the security footage in attempts to find the suspect. The investigation will continue.

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POLICE REPORT: DUI; Theft; Posession of Narcotics

Driving Under the Influence – Drugs:

  • According to the police report, Matthew Murphy was arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana on 7/9. The reporting officer was patrolling Line Avenue and Bridge Street when he noticed a 2003 red Chevy Impala traveling too fast for the wet conditions toward Wampum Avenue. The officer caught up to the Impala at the top of Fifth Street while turning onto Lawrence Avenue. The vehicle was stopped and as the officer approached the car, he could smell a marijuana odor. Murphy, who was identified as the driver, appeared nervous and would not make eye contact with the officer. He eventually admitted to the police that he had been smoking marijuana. Murphy gave police a marijuana pipe and a container of marijuana before exiting his vehicle. During a search of the Impala, police also recovered a small bag of marijuana from inside. Murphy then failed the sobriety tests. He was arrested and transported to the Ellwood City Hospital. While there, he was given a blood test that came back positive for marijuana. Murphy was released and will receive his summons in the mail.

Driving Under the Influence – Alcohol:

  • According to the police report, Sharon Buchman was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol on 7/7. The reporting officer was patrolling Lawrence Avenue when he noticed a 2012 gray Ford Fiesta veering into the parking lane. The officer followed the vehicle that nearly hit several parked cars on Fifth Street and turned into a lane of oncoming traffic on Fountain Avenue. The Fiesta was pulled over and immediately the officer could detect alcohol on the defendant’s breath. Buchman, who was identified as the driver, admitted to having a few drinks with her friends that evening. She nearly toppled over when she was asked to get out of her vehicle. Buchman failed the sobriety tests and was placed under arrest. She was transported to the Ellwood City Hospital for blood tests where her B.A.C. level was over the legal amount. Buchman was released and will receive her summons in the mail.
  • According to the police report, Matthew Elias was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol on 7/2. The reporting officer was dispatched to Line Avenue after receiving complaints of an erratic driver. One witness, who was following the 1999 white Chrysler 300, saw the vehicle swerving and nearly hitting parked cars. The officer found the car at Barry’s Ice Cream and watched it swerve across the yellow lines three times. The car then stopped for the red light at Line Avenue and Pershing Street and ended up in the middle of the intersection. The officer than pulled over the 300 where Elias was identified as the driver. The officer immediately could smell alcohol on Elias. He admitted to have been drinking rum and failed the sobriety tests. Elias was placed under arrest and transported to the Ellwood City Hospital where tests showed his B.A.C. was above the legal limit. He was later released and will receive his summons in the mail.

Criminal Mischief to Automobiles:

  • According to the police report, Kim and Renee Foley reported criminal mischief to their 2002 white Chevrolet Van on 7/5. The couple reported that at some point during the night, an unknown actor slashed all four of their tires while the vehicle was outside their home on the 900 block of Skyline Drive. The offender also damaged two of their house windows and a security light. The total amount estimated to repair all damaged items is close to $750.00. This incident is still under investigation.

Theft:

  • According to the police report, Kristina Burr reported theft at her home on the 500 block of Wayne Avenue on 7/2. The victim told police that two unknown actors stole her children’s swing set from their backyard. Burr called 911 as the incident was happening. She claims she saw two white men in their mid-twenties put the swing set in the back of a two door maroon truck. Further investigation will continue.

Narcotics – Possession of Marijuana:

  • According to the police report, three Ellwood City men were involved in an incident involving the possession of marijuana on 7/2. The reporting officer was patrolling Wampum Avenue when he noticed a 1999 gray Dodge Durango surrounded by three males in the Weller’s Flea Market parking lot. When the officer pulled into the lot, the men became nervous and suspicious-looking. They were then identified as Donald Armstrong (the car owner), Ryan Armstrong and James Ferrante. Donald, who was wearing sunglasses, stated that he was looking to purchase a door for his new apartment. The officer asked him to remove his glasses and when he did, his eyes appeared glassy and bloodshot. The officer then noticed a towel covering the center consol in Donald’s car that was concealing a marijuana pipe and a jar of marijuana. After police finished searching the rest of vehicle, they recovered four marijuana pipes, a marijuana grinder with residue, an unmarked prescription bottle full of 107 pills, a pill grinder with residue and a device to snort pills. Because the men had admitted to being under the influence of drugs, they were released to a family member. After the case is reviewed, the police will decide which male, if not all, receives the possession charges.
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Fire Ruins Two Glen Avenue Homes

Terri McCormick, of 530 Glen Avenue, was forced to evacuate her home yesterday evening after she found out a fire had broke out in her residence.

The flames lasted for nearly two hours, between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m., until the firefighters were able to put it out. In the meantime, the fire destroyed not only McCormick’s home but also the house of Brandi Dourlain.

According to a local news source, Dourlain, who resides at 534 Glen Avenue, escaped the fire without injury alongside McCormick, her dog, and eight other people inside Dourlain’s home.

Firefighters from Chewton, Franklin Towship, Frisco, North Sewickley Township, Wayne Township, Wurtemburg-Perry Township and Zelienople aided the Ellwood City Fire Department in stopping the fire.

McCormick has lived in her home the majority of her life and will be covered by home owner’s insurance, while on the other hand, Dourlain’s rental home is not under any insurance protection, according to reports.

Talks of a benefit event to help raise money and collect items for those affected by the fire is underway. More information will be provided as it is received.

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POLICE REPORT: Criminal Mischief; Burglary

Criminal Mischief:

  • According to the police report, Andrew Boots reported criminal mischief to his home, 1173 South Second Street, on 7/2. At around 3:30 in the morning, the victim heard a loud crash and observed an actor throwing a brick through his screen door window. The actor then fled the scene. Upon the arrival of the reporting officer, Boots noticed that the windshield of his 1996 gray Jeep Grand Cherokee had also been damaged with a brick. This investigation will continue.

Burglary:

  • According to the police report, Timothy McNamara reported a burglary at his home on the 600 block of Todd Avenue on 7/1. The victim had stayed the night at a friend’s house and when he returned back to his residence at 11:30 a.m., his back door was open and his dog was outside. McNamara noticed that his Colt Model Single Action Revolver 1880 was missing from upstairs. The revolver had wooden grips with a broken right side, broken cylinder and bent barrel. The retail value of the revolver is $200.00. McNamara’s roommates, Kyle Weaver and Codi Newkirk, told police that when they left for work at 8:00 a.m., the house was secure. No suspects have yet been identified.
  • According to the police report, Donald Lutz reported a burglary at his home on the 300 block Jamison Avenue on 6/27. When the victim arrived home at 1:00 a.m., he found his home had burglarized and that every room had been searched and torn apart. The reporting officer discovered the point of entry in the back of the house where the actor pushed the air conditioner through the window. Lutz had numerous handguns and rifles missing as well as other items. The investigation to find the actor is still underway.
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