Category Archives: Police & Fire
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.
According to reports, an Ellwood City man faces felony gun possession charges, resisting arrest, fleeing from police, leaving the scene of an accident, and driving under the influence – all after a minor traffic violation led police on a wild chase early Sunday morning in New Brighton.
Michael McKay, 25, of Crescent Ave., Ellwood City, drove through a stop sign on Seventh Avenue in New Brighton around 2:00am leading police to pursue. McKay refused to yield or pull over for the following officer, nearly hit a female pedestrian, and struck multiple parked cars.
McKay later abandoned his vehicle and fled on foot. Police followed snowy footprints and found McKay under a porch on Eighth Avenue.
McKay battled with officers and was struck with a taser multiple times. Police later found a loaded handgun on the seat of his vehicle and with previous arrests on record made it illegal for him to carry the weapon.
Ellwood City Police charged Gary John Honneffer, 25, of 165 Portersville Road with DUI on Feb. 26. According to the report, Honneffer ran into a home on Portersville Road. A witness told police he saw Honneffer leaving the scene. The report said that Honneffer returned later with his father and admitted that he was drinking and should not have been driving. Honneffer, according to the report, failed three field sobriety tests. While at the station, the report said that Honneffer refused to take a blood test and asked for his attorney.
Ellwood City Police responded to the report of a male attempting to commit suicide at the trestle behind the Moose Club on Feb. 22. According to the report, the male told police he was having a bad night. Police detained the man and took him to Jameson Hospital for evaluation.
Ellwood City Police charged Herman Ray Mielke, 31, of 826 Pershing Street, with public drunkenness. According to the report, Mielke was laying in the middle of North Street near First Avenue on Feb. 21. Police said he was intoxicated and refused to move. Mielke was put in lock up at the Ellwood City Police Department.
Ellwood City Police charged Beth Izzo, 52, of Ellwood City, with assault and simple assault after they were dispatched to a home on First Avenue on Feb. 21 after they received a call reporting an alleged domestic violence incident.
According to the report, Beth Izzo was arguing with a male after she allegedly took his keys, home phone, and cell phone and hid them. As the argument ensued, the report said she beat the victim with a glass on the left side of his head and ear leaving a black and blue mark. According to the report, she also spun the victim down the steps and scratched him in various places. The fight continued, according to the report, as Beth Izzo allegedly choked the victim.
A juvenile in the home called police and reported that Izzo was strangling a victim in the home. According to the report, Izzo also choked the juvenile. Both victims reported that Beth Izzo was intoxicated.
When officers arrived on the scene, they reported that Beth Izzo was yelling at them and that she continued to pursue the victims. She wrestled with officers and resisted arrest, but was finally detained by police. According to the report, Izzo escaped her handcuffs, punched and kicked the sliding window cage inside the police cruiser, and ripped the upholstery from the top of the vehicle. The report said that Izzo refused to cooperate with police, and she was tasered. Before being placed in lock up, Izzo urinated and defecated on the cruiser seat and floor, as well as on herself.
Ellwood City Police arrested and charged Angela Bruno, 24, for possession of narcotics. According to the report, Bruno was inside a parked car at the intersection of Park Avenue and Ninth Street. The officer noticed that the vehicle was protruding into Park Avenue. The officer saw Bruno put her head down so he approached the vehicle and asked for her license. The report said that Bruno pulled out a pack of cigarettes that contained her license, but it also contained a bag of blue pills (which were later confirmed to be 30mg Oxycodone Hydrochloride pills). Police said Bruno claimed that the pills belonged to her friend. According to the report, a check proved that Bruno’s license was expired. The acting officer had the vehicle towed to the police department. According to the report, Bruno signed a form allowing a search of the vehicle. During the search, police reported finding: seven empty heroine stamp bags, one syringe needle, a silver spoon, and a cotton swab. According to the report, Bruno said all of the items were hers except for the syringe. Bruno said, according to the report, that she doesn’t shoot heroine but instead snorts it. The report said Bruno claimed she bought the Oxy pills from a male at a gas station for $250.
Ellwood City Police are investigating a case of suspected arson at B&B Express on Lawrence Avenue. According to the report, a dumpster was found on fire on Feb. 20. Employees said they put garbage in the dumpster five minutes before the fire. They said they didn’t notice anyone around the store as they were closing up. The report said the police department plans to check the surveillance tape from nearby Alborn Tire.
According to police, an unknown actor entered a vehicle parked on Pittsburgh Circle sometime during the night of February 15. The report said the actor took $5 in change and CDs.
A house fire erupted just after 10:00am Tuesday morning on the 600 block of Wayne Avenue in Ellwood City that had firefighters on scene for hours battling the blaze. Ellwood City and seven other departments were on the scene through midday.
The house, located at 622 Wayne Ave., was not occupied at the time the fire broke out and the firefighters believe the fire started in the home’s basement. Neighboring houses were coated in foam to protect from fire damage and no other structures were damaged by the blaze.
Photo provided by: Treasured Memories by Morabito Photography
Two Franklin Township residents were arrested after police found a suspected meth operation.
Shenango Township police arrested Christine Mesko, 44, of 105 Jackson Way and Jerrold Miller, 46, of 618 Lancaster Road after police noticed the two behaving strangely in a vehicle parked outside a tavern in Shenango Township around 10:30 on February 9.
The department’s police dog indicated the presence of drugs and officers found methamphetamines in the vehicle. A search provided evidence that the vehicle was used as a mobile meth lab.
After the discovery, Shenango officers contactd the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s Meth Lab Team to conduct an investigation on the vehicle.
Mesko and Miller were placed in the Lawrence County Jail on active warrants issued in Beaver County.
Police dismissed a charge against a Mercer County man charged with shooting a child.
According to police, Thomas Edward Grant, 24, of 35, Lightcap Lane, Jackson Center, mistook the child for an animal when he fired his weapon.
Beaver County Judge John P. Dohanich ruled that the charge of aggravated assault cannot be pursued following the filing of a writ of habeas corpus by Grant’s attorney Steven Valsamidis. Valsamidis contents that in order for a charge of aggravated assault to go forward there must be proof of malice.
Grant was also charged by New Sewickley Township police with reckless endangerment and simple assault. According to police, Grant thought he was shooting at a skunk on the night of Oct. 20 at his mother’s house on Brewer Road. Police said he actually was shooting at an 8-year-old girl wearing a black-and-white Halloween costume. The child, according to police, was playing hide-and-seek.
Grant is free on $10,000 bond.
Two Perry Township residents died Sunday morning after a fire broke out in their mobile home.
Phillip James Illig Sr., 49, and Jessica Lynn Morehouse, 28, were found inside the 6247 Route 488 home after the fire was extinguished.
The fire broke out just after 2 a.m. and the mobile home was completely engulfed before firefighters arrived.
Firefighters from Wurtemburg-Perry Township, Ellwood City, Wayne Township, Chewton, Frisco-Franklin Township, and Portersville worked to put out the blaze, but the fire destroyed the home. Portersville EMS also assisted at the scene.
A cause for the fire has not been determined. State police fire marshals are continuing to investigate.
Ellwood City Police Chief Mark Romutis said that an Active Shooter Drill will be held Monday at Lincoln High School. The Ellwood City Police department will participate in coordination with the Ellwood City School District.
According to a police report, Andy Pounds, 42 of 1585 Lawrence Avenue, was charged with harassment by physical contact after he allegedly hit a woman in the parking lot of Burger King on Lawrence Avenue. The victim told police that she and Pounds had been broken up for two weeks. She said Pounds would not let her out of his pickup truck as they began to argue. The victim told police that Pounds hit her. She said she tried to get out of his truck again and while pushing to get away from Pounds she ripped his shirt. She said she went into Burger King to call police. According to the report, the victim had a lump knot above her forehead and a red lump under her right eye. Police photographed the victim. Later in a phone call, Pounds told police that the woman ripped his shirt and was punching him. Pounds said she kicked his truck and left dents. Pounds never furnished his vehicle to police.
Thefts and Criminal Mischief
Ellwood City Police are urging residents to remove valuables from and to remember to lock parked vehicles after a rash of vehicle breakins and reports of suspicious activity on various streets around Ellwood City. The following incidents happened in the past week:
2-13: An unknown actor took a small folder containing credit cards from an SUV on Third Street. According to the police report, a woman reported hearing dogs barking and when she looked outside she saw a man in his 20s walking down the street.
2-13: Police recieved a report that an unknown actor took a folder containing registration and insurance information from an unlocked truck on Second Street. The victim said it happened sometime during a three-day period.
2-11: Police were dispatched to Center Avenue after receiving a report of two suspicious persons looking into vehicles in the area. The caller said the actors were an unknown white male wearing a white hoodie and an unknown female wearing a blue hoodie. The caller told police he saw the unknown actors looking into the vehicles so he yelled out to them that he was going to call police. The caller said they took off, and he chased them toward Lawrence Avenue before losing them.
2-11: Police received a report that un unknown actor went through an unlocked vehicle parked on the side of a residence on Third Avenue.
2-11: According to a police report, an unknown actor stole a wallet, credit card, and drivers license from a car in the Ellwood City Hopital parking lot.
2-11: An unknown actor, according to police, stole a registration card and insurance information sometime during the night from a car on Franklin Avenue.
2-11: According to a police report, vehicles were broken into on Crescent and Third but nothing was reported missing.
2-11: Change was stolen from a vehicle on Fifth Street, according to a police report.
According to a police report, a man was sleeping in his home on Wayne Avenue on Feb. 10 when he heard the rattling of his backdoor. The victim told police that just as he made his way downstairs the unknown actor was fled the scene in a dark black pickup truck. The report said the unknown actor drove away eastbound and that the victim was not able to offer a description.
According to a police report, tires were slashed at a residence on Beechwood Blvd. on Feb. 10
According to a police report, a theft of $200 worth of merchandise took place at Game Zone, 512 Lawrence Avenue. The owner of the store told police that the actors were captured on tape removing the items.