Category Archives: Police & Fire

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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Police: Man Arrested for DUI and Attempting to Elude Officers

On Wednesday, February 25, Alex Buben, 27, of Wampum, was arrested for driving under the influence and attempting to elude officers.

According to the police report, at approximately 1:45 a.m., a patrolling officer saw an SUV pull out of Hazel Manor on 215 North Street. The SUV made a wide turn and struck the curb. The officer activated his emergency lights, but the SUV didn’t stop. The officer pursued and requested assistance.

Pursuing officers followed the SUV in circles several times in the North Side. The officer lost sight of the SUV as it was heading east on Wampum Ave with it’s lights turned off. The officer found the vehicle again and pursued it in more circles around North Side.

By now, the pursuing officer was traveling at 70 MPH. The SUV was driving haphazardly, striking parked cars. The car chase ended when the SUV crashed into a garage on Smiley Street.

Buben evacuated the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot. He was apprehended on a snow-covered hill behind the garage.

Buben was taken to the hospital and determined to be intoxicated.

He has been charged with: fleeing or attempting to elude an officer, driving under the influence, driving without lights to avoid identification, accidents involving damage to attended vehicle property, and reckless driving.

He was arraigned before Magistrate Cartwright and placed on a $5,000 bond.

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Police: Ellwood City Teen Arrested for Drug Possession

Taylor Foley, 18, of Ellwood City, was arrested Monday after police executed a sealed search warrant around 6:30 a.m. at her home on Skyline Drive.

Participating in the raid were officers of the Lawrence County District Attorney’s special investigative unit and police officers from New Castle and Neshannock Township.

Police said they found a small quantity of crack cocaine and a large bag of another substance which was sent for laboratory testing.

Foley is charged with two counts each of possession and possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

She was arraigned by District Judge Scott McGrath, who committed her to the Lawrence County jail in lieu of $50,000 bond.

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Police: 7-Eleven Robbed at Gunpoint; Fight in the Huntington Bank Parking Lot

Armed Robbery:

According to the police report, an unknown male entered 7-Eleven on North Street at 5:20 a.m. on February 18. He threatened an employee with a semi-automatic handgun. After receiving the contents of the cash register, he left. Police arrived on the scene and examined video surveillance. Investigation ongoing.

Disorderly Conduct:

According to the police report,  at 1:00 a.m. on February 22 the bartender at the Pour House on Lawrence Ave reported that individuals had left the bar and were fighting by the drive-through near Huntington Bank. Officers arrived and found a crowd gathered around two individuals in a fight. Investigating officers identified the suspects as Monica Book, 40, of Ellwood City and Sophia Duffy, 23, of Fombell. The two were arrested for disorderly conduct. Braden Book, 20, of Ellwood City, was also arrested for disorderly conduct.

Outstanding Warrant:

According to the police report, at approximately 1:50 a.m. on February 19, police patrolled View Street to find Jeffrey Benson, 47, of Ellwood City, who had three outstanding warrants. Investigating officers found Benson reclining in his vehicle. He was arrested and transported to the Lawrence County jail.

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