Category Archives: Police & Fire
Littman was headed north when his car unexpectedly skidded around an undercompensated bend and off the road. The vehicle hit both a tree and pole and simultaneously, overturned. The victim suffered blunt-force trauma injuries to the abdomen and was discovered dead at the scene.
Police ruled Littman’s death an accident, leaving behind only skid marks and a flipped car on the road. The victim was wearing his seat belt at the time of the accident.
Sadly, this was not the first young loss for Riverside High School in the past year. On August 7th, 2012, senior, Jake Kerr, also died in a car accident. The seventeen-year-old, football teammate of Littman, crashed on Grandview Road after colliding with a tree.
The class of 2012 graduate was the son of Jonathan and Sonja Wimer Littman and brother of Maximillian. He was employed at McDonald’s in Ellwood City and recently completed his freshman year at the Community College of Beaver County.
His viewing will be held at Marshall’s Funeral Home from 2 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday and services will be Wednesday morning at 11. Friends and fellow peers with Riverside letterman jackets are to wear them alongside Littman to show support at his services.
Criminal Mischief to Automobiles
Ellwood City Police were called to 109 Hazel Avenue, Ellwood City, to investigate a criminal mischief complaint. According to a police report, on April 28 between 11:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., an unknown actor(s) damaged the driver’s side, side view mirror of a vehicle belonging to Garry Michael Hart, who resides at the location. Hart, according to the report, stated that he heard a noise at 4:30 a.m. but did not investigate. The estimated damage to the side view mirror is $300.
According to a police report, Ellwood City Police were called to 203 Hazel Avenue in Ellwood City on April 28, after Mary Elizabeth Ringle, who resides at the location, discovered damage to her car. The report stated that sometime between midnight and 9:00 a.m., Ringle’s driver’s side, side view mirror had been ripped off of the car and smashed. The vehicle, parked in front of her home, has an estimated damage of $300.
An armed robbery took place at B&B Mini Mart on River Road in North Sewickley Township late Sunday evening. Report indicated an unidentified employee was sitting near the full-service gas pumps when a masked man came up behind him and held a gun to his head. The robber took an undisclosed amount of cash and fled on foot towards Cherry Hill. The suspect was described as a medium-build male, about 5 foot, 5 inches tall wearing blue jeans and a blue hoodie. Anyone with information on the incident should call police at (724) 843-8118.
Domestic Disturbance; Assault
According to a police report, Ellwood City Police were called to a home at 605 Franklin Ave., Ellwood City, early Wednesday morning for a domestic disturbance. Upon arrival, police were able to hear screams for help and saw David Joseph Carter, 33, who resides at the location, kicking the victim who is also his girlfriend.
Police handcuffed Carter who was, according to the report, heavily intoxicated. Police entered the home and discovered a couch flipped on its side, as well as other broken furniture. According to the report, the victim stated that Carter choked her on the couch, threw the couch at her and then chased her outside of the home where he continued assaulting her until police arrived.
Police later learned that Carter had placed listening devices in the home and believed the victim was having relations with another man. The victim sustained injuries to her lip, teeth and eye.
An Ellport woman was recently the victim of receiving counterfeit money. According to a police report, Ann L. Kruger of Deemer Avenue in Ellport, withdrew mostly $20 bills from her account last week at ESB Bank in Ellwood City. Kruger then tried to use one of the bills at Mountaineer Casino in West Virginia when she discovered the slot machine would not accept some of the bills.
The report stated that Kruger then tried to exchange the $20 bills for new ones and was advised by casino security that some of the bills were counterfeit. The money was seized and the investigation is ongoing.
Corey David Rayl, 39, of Beaver Falls was charged with burglary and criminal trespassing after he was caught inside a Darlington Township home on the evening of April 19. Rayl invaded a residence at 538 Hollow Road and was caught around 5:36pm according to reports.
A witness reported seeing Rayl enter the residence and alerted the homeowner who returned home to find Rayl, whom the homeowner did not know, and alerted police.
According to a police report, Ellwood City Police are reviewing surveillance video after an unknown actor(s) smashed a front window of the Ellwood City Library on April 7. Police identified a piece of concrete at the scene which was used to smash the window. The investigation is ongoing.
A victim’s car windshield was smashed after an unknown actor(s) threw a large rock at his vehicle which was parked on the north side of Division Avenue in Ellwood City. The rock, according to the report, also damaged part of the victim’s car hood as it rolled down the windshield and settled onto the hood of the car. The incident happened late Saturday night or early Sunday morning on April 7. The incident is under investigation.
Ellwood City Police were dispatched early Sunday morning on April 7 to B&B Express at 324 Lawrence Avenue in Ellwood City after the business’s alarm went off. According to the police report, the alarm system company identified to the police a “front door glass break.” When police arrived, they discovered that an unknown actor(s) threw a piece of cement through a front corner window of the building, shattering the window. Police are reviewing nearby surveillance video and the incident is still under investigation.
Ellwood City Police were led by an anonymous tip to a house in the North Side neighborhood on Thursday leading to the arrest of two residents who were operating an “extremely dangerous and fully functional” methamphetamine laboratory inside a home.
Reports said the house had no electricity and was later found to have lanterns and large amounts of kerosene inside.
Richard Brian Lumley, 43, of 332 Orchard Avenue Reader, Ellwood City, and Timothy Bill Locke, 32, of 4446 Hollow Road, Wayne Township were arrested and arraigned on charges related to operating a meth lab.
After the search and arrest of the suspects, police had to use DEA assistance in cleaning up the house and lab, finding multiple other items used in making methamphetamine.
According to a report, police believe there are still smaller production facilities in the Ellwood City area.
Locke and Lumley remain in jail on $250,000 bond.
WPXI was on the scene at the Ellwood City Municipal Building throughout the day on Thursday and release the following video:
Terroristic Threats, Harassment, DUI
A 24-year-old man and a 22-year-old Ellwood City woman were charged with making terroristic threats and harassment at My House Bar in Ellwood City early Sunday morning.
According to a police report, Michael Francis Abbinanti of 3019 Mercer Road in New Castle, and Amber Jane Irving of 244 Fifth Street, Apt. 1 in Ellwood City, were involved in a dispute involving a gun at My House Bar on 403 Lawrence Avenue in Ellwood City.
The report stated that Ellwood City Police were called to the bar after Abbinanti threatened Brandon Otlowski with a weapon around 2 a.m. on Sunday. According to the report, upon arrival, police searched Abbinanti and found no gun. Irving stated that Otlowski had slapped her in the face. Irving, according to the report, told Otlowski that her boyfriend was going to come to the bar and kill him.
Otlowski approached the police, stating that Abbinanti had pulled a gun on him in the bar. Police searched and found a loaded handgun in a nearby car. The handgun was registered to Abbinanti. According to the report, Abbinanti was then taken to the Ellwood City Police Station for questioning. Abbinanti stated he did not pull a gun on Otlowski, but, according to the report, police reviewed surveillance video from the bar and discovered that Abbinanti did pull out a gun.
During the questioning, police inquired as to how Abbinanti got his vehicle to the bar as he appeared to be intoxicated, and was ultimately charged with a DUI.
Abbinanti was placed in Lawrence County Jail on Sunday on $5,000 bond, and was released later that day.
Ellwood City Police were called to a residence at 822 Park Avenue, Ellwood City, after receiving a call that 27-year-old Jeffrey Wayne Murphy, who resides at the location, was assaulting the caller.
According to the police report, when Ellwood City Police arrived at the residence, Murphy’s knuckles and hands were bleeding. The report stated that Murphy was being loud and belligerent in front of police and threatened his mother and sister. His mother, Ruth Murphy, who also lives at the home, stated that he pushed her to the ground, chased her around the house and threatened her. The victim’s sister, Taylor Murphy, 21, stated that he had also pushed her to the ground.
Police stated, according to the report, that Mr. Murphy was visibly intoxicated and/or high. Upon being transported to the police cruiser, Murphy began to punch, kick and head-butt the police cruiser. Murphy was held at the police station where he continued to punch and kick the cell walls, as well as scream obscenities.
Mayor Anthony J. Court is pleased to unveil the official banner for Ellwood City’s Crime Watch program. The program was started by Mayor Court and has now been in existence for over 5 years.
Many residents and businesses are involved in the program and many believe that it has proven to deter crime, helping to keep our neighborhoods safe. With the Crime Watch program volunteers, those who break the law should be aware that there are extra eyes and ears helping our police officers get information that is used to prevent or solve crimes.
Included in the unveiling of this banner, are State Representative Jaret Gibbons and affiliate Frank Sniezek.
The banner was purchased with donations from local business owners, all of which have been recognized on the banner. (T&M Hardware, Nalco, Inmetoc, American Legion Post #157, Ellwood City Forge, ESB Bank, Eric Ryan Corp., McElwain Motors and Kasing Auto Sales).
The banner will be located in a location so that ALL who frequent our town will know that we are a “Crime Watch Community” and that we will be watching if you choose to break the law.
Mayor Court wishes to thank all the tips this program has generated as he and the ECPD continue on the pro-active approach in dealing with crime!
According to a police report, Ellwood City Police were dispatched to Loop Street in Ellwood City for a domestic dispute. Police spoke with James Hill, 22, of 501 Loop Street who, according to the report, stated that his girlfriend, Amanda Lee Gilmore, 20, also of 501 Loop Street, struck him in the face which caused injuries to both eyes and his lip, which was bleeding. According to the report, Hill also said Gilmore bit the top of his head and pulled out his hair. Gilmore stated, according to the police report, that she also had an injury to the face where she claimed Hill struck her. Both were charged with two counts of simple assault and one count of harassment.
Pending DUI Charge / Underage Drinking Citations
A DUI charge is pending lab results after Ellwood City Police arrested Thomas John Stofen, 18, of 601 Wises Grove Road, New Brighton, on March 17 in the Ellwood City McDonald’s parking lot.
According to the police report, an officer on patrol through the parking lot of McDonald’s on 5th Street in Ellwood City observed three males in a vehicle in the drive-thru lane. According to the report, the patrolling officer observed one male raise what appeared to be a bottle of an alcoholic beverage. The officer spoke with the individuals and, according to the report, observed an opened bottle of alcohol, half drank, on the floor of the front passenger. The report also stated that in plain view of the officer was a 6-pack of alcoholic beverages and that the officer reported a strong odor of alcohol. Stofen, according to the report, was given field sobriety tests and was placed under arrest. Blood was drawn from Stofen at the Ellwood City Hospital for testing. Lab results are pending.
The report stated the other two passengers, Derek Alan Godown, 18, of 211 Chadwick Trail in Cranberry Township and Cody James Steigerwald, 18, of 234 Greenwood Road in Fombell, were issued underage drinking citations.
Ellwood City Police continue to urge residents to remove valuables from and to remember to lock parked vehicles.
3-9: An unknown actor took a change purse containing a driver’s license and a bank debit card from a car parked in a driveway on 3rd Street. According to the police report, change from the center console was also taken and the car doors were not locked.
3-8: According to a police report, an unknown actor took a tool set from a truck in a parking lot off of Cherry Way at Edro Steel. The doors, according to the report, were not locked.
Harassment, Reckless Endangerment
Ellwood City Police were called to 109 Grim Avenue in Ellwood City on March 6 after the report of a disturbance. Police charged Kim Kerr, 53, of 107 Grim Avenue, Ellwood City, with harassment and reckless endangerment. Kerr’s neighbor reported the disturbance when he heard banging noises at the residence. The victim went outside after hearing the noises, and according to the report, was threatened by Kerr and two others. The victim wanted to retrieve his phone from Kerr’s property, the report said, and Kerr allegedly pulled a gun on the victim and demanded that he stay off of her property. A few witnesses and neighbors said they did not see Kerr holding a gun, while three other witnesses offered written statements that they did see Kerr holding a gun.
Ellwood City Police charged John Carl Lechner, 55, of 2677 Portersville Road, Ellwood City, with harassment following an incident at Breaker Pub in Ellport on March 2. According to the report, Lechner had been banned from Breaker Pub but was peering into the window with a flashlight. According to a bartender, Lechner was a former friend who became obsessed with her. The victim told police that Lechner refused to comply with requests to leave her alone. The victim said she called Beaver Falls Police previously to report the alleged harassment against her. While at the Breaker Pub, Lechner allegedly slashed a patron’s tires and left. The patron, according to the report, claimed that Lechner slashed his tires the previous week as well and was supposed to pay for the damages. The report said that Ellwood City Police went to Lechner’s home, searched his vehicle, and found a flashlight. Police, according to the report, told Lechner to leave the bartender alone and that if he continued to pursue her he would be charged with stalking.
Three juvenile females were cited for disorderly conduct on March 1 after an argument over Facebook led to a physical altercation during their gym class at Lincoln High School. The three girls were released to their parents.