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Accidents & Investigations

Pike Trucking Co. Faces Illegal Dumping Charges


A Pike County trucking company faces charges of illegally dumping contamination soil at two locations in Monroe County. New Jersey business, 53-year-old Arthur Fletcher Jr. of Bayonne allegedly moved the soil from the site of a former gas station in the Bronx, NY, and convinced landowners in Wind Gap and Bangor that he was going to buy their properties and fill them with clean soil for a business enterprise he was planning. Without their permission, Fletcher allegedly hire Ike’s Enterprises of Shohola, Cuenca Coronel Trucking, and J&J Brothers Trucking, both of Newark, NJ, to dump the materials. Fletcher faces charges of unlawful conduct, illegal transportation, theft of service, deception business practices and criminal mischief. The trucking company also face charges of unlawful conduct.

E. S’burg Woman Charged w/Scamming Church Fund


State Police in Pike County have filed charges against three people from Monroe County for their involvement in a theft scheme at Long Meadow Chapel in Delaware Township. Investigators say between Dec. 26, 2011 and Oct. 28, 2012, 29-year-old Salina Lynch of East Stroudsburg scammed church officials by requesting financial assistance from the benevolence fund. Lynch allegedly used several fictitious names to ask the church for help paying her rent, and claimed two men, 39-years Shawn Chavies of East Stroudsburg and 52-year-old Daryl Pearson of Stroudsburg were her landlords and had the checks issued to them. Police found no evidence either man owned property that could have been rented. All three face charges of theft by deception.

Seven from Georgia Injured in I-84 Crash on Sunday


A Georgia woman has been transported via Life Flight helicopter from the scene of one-vehicle crash on Interstate 84 in Salem Township Sunday afternoon. State Police in Wayne County report 20-year-ols Raquan Green of Riverdale, GA, drove a 2001 Honda Odyssey mini van off the north berm of the westbound lane around 3:45 pm, drove ever a guide rail, struck several trees and spun around. Officials say 61-year-old passenger, Carolyn McGill was air lifted from the scene with moderate injuries. Five other passengers, including a three-year-old boy, suffered minor to moderate injuries. The Hamlin Fire and Ambulance responded along with additional ambulances.

Cell Phone Scam Says Pennstar Cards Deactivated


State Police in Wayne County warn residents of a cell phone scam in which victims receive a text message advising that their debit and bank cards from Pennstar Bank are being deactivated. The message asks the person to call the number back to provide the information to reactivate the card, police advise you not to call the number or reveal any personal information over the phone unless you have initiated the contact and know who you are speaking with. If you have questions about bank communications, contact your local branch.

Susquehanna County Roll Over Kills Driver at Scene


A rollover crash in Susquehanna County claimed the life of the driver and the sent the passenger to an area hospital. State Police at Gibson report 49-year-old Joseph Rafferty lost control of a 1999 Dodge pick-up truck on a curve on Hawleyton Road in Silver Lake Township Thursday around 11 pm. Both he and 45-year-old Kimberly Kelly-Mott were ejected from the vehicle. Raffterty was pronounced dead at the scene, and Kelly-Mott was taken to Wilson Memorial Hospital in Johnson City, NY.

Honesdale Man Arrested After Fleeing Boro Police


State Police in Wayne County say a Honesdale man has been taken into custody after trying to run from police earlier this week. Honesdale Borough Police attempted to make stop a 2010 Hyundai Elantra, driven by 30-year-old Matthew Horwitz, at the corner of Fourth and Main Streets Monday night around 11:30 pm. The driver took off heading up Terrace Street then fled down Lakeview Drive, where a State Police cruiser executed a rolling roadblock. The Hyundai hit the rear of the cruiser and came to rest, without injuries. Horwitz has been charged with aggravated assault, fleeing and eluding police, DU and several traffic violations.

Inmate Floods Toilet, Breaks Sprinkler at Wayne Prison


An inmate at the Wayne County Correctional Facility faces charges after he caused significant water damage to one unit Monday afternoon. State Police in Honesdale report 23-year-old Justin Davis of Lake Ariel caused the toilet in hit cell to flood, forcing officials to shut down the water to cell block D around 4:15 pm. Investigators say Davis then broke a sprinkler head in the cell, which caused the fire alarms to sound and inundated the entire cell block with water. Davis has been charged with institutional vandalism, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief. Troopers say Davis would have reached his maximum sentence in 10 days.

H’dale Boro Police Look for Jeep, Statue Vandal


Someone stole a red, 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee from the driveway of a West Park street home in Honesdale Monday. Borough Police say the Jeep bears PA registration JDJ-6351. Also, officers are looking for information about damage caused to a marble statue in front of St. John’s Catholic Church on Terrace Street over the weekend. Investigators say someone broke the head of the statue. Anyone with information about either of these incidents is asked to call police at 253-1900.

Two Men Wielding Assault Rifles Rob Smoke Shop


Two men held up a smoke shop in Matamoras Friday armed with assault rifles. The Eastern Pike Regional Police report the two white gunmen entered the A&Z Quick Stop on Pennsylvania Avenue around 11 pm and fled on foot with about $660 in cash. The two were dressed all in black, one is described a standing 5-foot-5, while the other is taller at about 5-foot-11. Anyone with information is asked to contact Eastern Pike Police at 491-4040.

Authorities ID Body of Missing Big Lake Fisherman


PA Fish and Boat Commission officials have identified the body that washed up on the shores of Lake Wallenpaupack yesterday morning is that of 33-year-old fisherman Jeffrey Kochis of Jefferson Township. Kochis had been missing since Saturday after other fisherman spotted his empty boat drifting in the lake. Dive crews from Ledgedale and Tafton spent the weekend trying to recover the body, which washed up on the Pike County side of the lake Monday.

State Police Check WW Bomb Threat, No Evacuation


Authorities decided not to evacuate the Western Wayne Middle and High Schools on Friday after someone scribbled a bomb threat on the wall of a girl’s bathroom at the Middle School. State Police in Wayne County were notified of the threat around 12:30, but deemed it not credible after searching both school buildings with a K9 team, which did not turn up any hazardous devices

Dive Teams Search Big Lake for Lackawanna Man


Rescue crews plan to continue the search today for a Lackawanna County man authorities believe may have drowned in Lake Wallenpaupack over the weekend. Fisherman spotted an empty boat floating in the area of the Wilsonville Dam outside Hawley around 3:15 Saturday afternoon. Dive crews from the Tafton and Ledgedale Fire Departments spent most of Saturday and all of Sunday searching for the body of 33-year-old Jeffrey Kochis of Jefferson Township, who investigators say was fishing alone near Shuman’s Point. No one witnessed the incident, which creates a large search area for volunteer rescuers.

PNC Newfoundland Bank Robber Arrest on Interstate


A Clifton Township man faces charges, after State Police in Honesdale say he robbed the PNC Bank in Dreher Township Saturday morning. Troopers say 45-year-old Dennis McGuire entered the Main Street, Newfoundland, branch just before 10 am and demanded money from the teller. He did not brandish a weapon and fled the building with more $5,500 in cash. Bank employees watched him run to a neighboring parking lot and leave the scene in a dark colored minivan with a busted rear blinker lens. They obtained a partial PA registration, and State Police spotted the suspect vehicle on Interstate 380 near I-84 a short time later. The teller identified McQuire as the suspect. He was arraigned before District Justice Bonnie Carney for felony counts of robbery, theft, terroristic threats and a misdemeanor charge of simple assault as well as a citation for driving with a suspended license and remanded to the Wayne County Correctional Facility in lieu $500,000 bail.

2 Local Men Arrested After Trying to Steal Scrap Metal


Two local men have been arrested for criminal trespass after an incident at Kearney’s trailer Park on Route 690 in Madison Township.  State Police at Dunmore say 29-year-old Daniel Kemery of Greentown and 28-year-old David Eldred of Hawley went to the trailer park Thursday around 2:30 pm in a late 1980s model pick-up truck and attempted to steal scrap metal. The owner confronted the two, and Kemery drove off at a high rate of speed. Police spotted the truck a short time later on Interstate 84 near the Mount Cobb exit and apprehended the two men.

Wayne DA Says No Criminal Charges in Day Care Case


A State Police investigation into complaints of child abuse at the Just 4 Kids Day Care Center in Hamlin will not result in criminal charges, says Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards. She issued a statement Thursday afternoon, reviewing the State Police investigation and her conclusions. Police received a report March 25 of a child allegedly restrained in a chair, which she said did not come from the parent of the alleged victim. Troopers interviewed the person who made the report, the alleged victim, workers at the center and others, and Edwards said she concluded criminal charges could not be substantiated by the evidence gathered during the investigation. The Department of Public Welfare conducted its own investigation and has shut down the facility on Cemetery Road and revoked its operating license.

H’dale Man Arrested After Fleeing Police Saturday


A Honesdale man has been charged with fleeing from police and more after a brief chase near Seelyville Saturday evening. Borough Police say 21-year-old Nikolas Reeder also faces charges of recklessly endangering another after he failed to yield to a traffic stop around 5:30 pm near Maple Avenue. An officer spotted Reeder driving west on Route 6 near Wayne Memorial Hospital, but Reeder fled from the officer, who quickly terminated pursuit in light of Reeder’s disregard for other drivers on the road. He was arrested Sunday by State Police on unrelated charges, and was arraigned on the new charges Tuesday. After failing to post $5,000.00 bail Reeder was returned to the Wayne County Correctional Facility awaiting central court scheduled on April 24.

Police Chief Asks Westfall for Loitering Ordinance


Police Chief Chad Stewart hopes a loitering ordinance in Westfall Township will help the Eastern Pike Regional Police Department break up large gatherings of Delaware Valley students making mischief in commercial parking lots near the High School. Chief Stewart asked the Township Supervisors to consider an ordinance after receiving a lot of complaints about damaged vehicles and fights in the Wal-Mart and Staples plazas, particularly during school sporting events. The township’s attorney suggested working with Wal-Mart to post “no loitering signs” and have their loss prevention staff help enforce it, since it is private property.

75-Year-Old Man Jailed for Taking Investment Money


A New Jersey man has been sentenced to six to 24 months in a State Correctional Institution after pleading guilty to theft charges in Pike County Court last week. District Attorney Raymond Tonkin said 75-year-old Samuel Slatus of Clifton accepted money from another person to invest in an interest-bearing CD between April and May 2011, but used the money for himself. He was also ordered to pay a $500 fine for one count of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds.

New Surveillance Law Helps Wayne, Pike Fight Heroin


A five-month long investigation into heroin trafficking in Wayne and Pike Counties led to the arrest of seven people, and involved the District Attorneys, Drug Task Forces and State and local police from both counties.
The dominoes began to fall late last year, when police made a heroin bust in Honesdale and learned of another dealer in Pike. The two counties quickly set to work together, and they also had the benefit of a new surveillance law in Pennsylvania says Pike DA Raymond Tonkin.
“In two ways, the new law was effective,” he explained. “First the new law allows us to monitor the location of a person’s cell phone after we’ve obtained a court order based on probable cause and it also allows us to have, what we call, a target specific court order. The previous law would allow an order phone number-by-phone number. Now, if we can demonstrate probable cause for a target, even if that target switches phones during the investigation we're able to easily monitor that second phone.”
The order must be obtained from the Court of Common Please for tracking cell phones. Tapping into conversations, Tonkin said, requires an order from the PA Superior Court.
He also said the dedication of law enforcement officials, the willingness to work together and the application of technology made it possible to remove more than 1,800 packets of heroin from our streets.

Attack on Troopers Lands LA Woman in State Prison


A Lake Ariel woman received a 12 to 36 months state prison sentence in Wayne County Court last week after pleading guilty to assaulting to PA State Troopers. District Attorney Janine Edwards reports 48-year-old Maureen Lore attacked the officers during a May 23 incident in Canaan Township. She was charged with two counts of simple assault.

Wayne, Pike DAs Tout 7 Heroin Trafficking Arrests


It all started with a heroin bust in Honesdale about five months ago, says Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards.
“A target was identified in Pike County and I immediately called and asked DA Tonkin if he would come with his detectives so we could collectively work on the most effective strategy of knocking off as many dealers in Wayne and Pike Counties as we could,” she said.
The end result, Pike District Attorney Raymond Tonkin said Friday morning at a press conference, has been a total seven arrests, the purchase or seizure of more than 1,800 packets of heroin, the confiscation of $11,000 and several weapons.
That initial Wayne County arrest led police to 40-year-old Louis Stellato IV of Dingmans Ferry who was taken into custody in November, and then to 41-year-old Walter “Wizzy” Brown of Paterson, NJ, who was supplying him the heroin. Detectives linked Brown to 22-year-old Brandon DeForge of Greentown, and a new surveillance law in Pennsylvania helped them track their movements, said Tonkin.
“The new law allows us to monitor the location of a person’s cell phone after we’ve obtained a court order based on probable cause,” he explained.
That made it possible for investigators to track Brown, DeForge and 31-year-old Luis Rivera of Paterson, NJ, Tuesday as they made controlled purchase in Blooming Grove Township. As part of the investigation, police also arrested 19-year-old Joseph Stellato–Riley of Dingmans Ferry and 34-year-old Christopher Brisendine of Greentown.
The final arrest came Thursday, when police intercepted 23-year-old Nicholas Huebner of Honesdale ad he returned from Paterson, NJ, with 72 bags of heroin and $450.

College Wrestler From Wayne Arrested on Rape Charge


A college wrestler from Wayne County has been arrested after a woman accused him of rape. Authorities say 22-year-old Cornell University student Peter Mesko of Honesdale was charged Tuesday with first-degree rape at an off-campus residence early Saturday morning. Documents filed with the court say the victim and another woman were sleeping, when the victim awoke to find a man on top of her. She shoved him off and fled the room, but the other woman took a picture of the assailant, whom the two identified using the Cornell website. They then reported the incident to police. Mesko has been freed on $5,000 bail

Fire Destroys Historic E. Harford Structure in Milford


Fire destroyed an historic structure used as a rehabilitation center for people recovering from brain injuries Thursday morning in Milford. It took crews from seven fire departments to contain the flames, which quickly engulfed the entire structure at the corner East Harford and Fourth Streets and threatened a nearby furniture store. Only two people were housed in the building at the time. One was at home when the fire started, but got out safely. Progressive Health of PA owns and operates out of several buildings in Milford and officials say the displaced residents will be moved to other facilities nearby. The cause of blaze remains under investigation.

Honesdale Man Arrested in NY w/Drugs, Kids in Car


New York State Police in Tarrytown arrested three people from Honesdale following a traffic stop on the New York State Thruway in Rockland County. Police say 30-year-old Nathan Schutte of Honesdale and two others were arrested when troopers stopped a Toyota Camry for vehicle and traffic violations and found approximately two ounces of powder cocaine, two grams of crack cocaine and one pound of marijuana. Schutte also had his three children, ages five to 10, in the car. He faces three felony counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Also, 20-year-old Angela Wylie of Honesdale faces three misdemeanor counts of endangering a child and 32-year-old Billy Foster of Liberty, NY, has been charged with felony counts of criminal possession of marijuana and a controlled substance and three misdemeanor counts of endangering a child. Schutte and Foster were remanded to the Rockland County Jail in lieu of $15,000 bail each. Wylie was released.

L’wanna Detective Files Tickets from Casey Highway


It turns out the man who stopped a driver on the Casey Highway last week was a Lackawanna County Detective. State Police had been looking for they man, believing he was impersonating a police office when he pulled a Carbondale man over March 22. The alleged officer took the man’s license and insurance information, cursed him out for speeding and told him he would receive his tickets in the mail. The citations were filed recently in District Court in Lackawanna County.

Police Chase Driver Doing 124 mph on I-84 Saturday


Authorities have charged man from New York with fleeing and eluding police on Interstate 84 in Jefferson Township Saturday evening. State Police in Dunmore say 22-year-old Joseph Ferraro of Monroe, NY, was clocked doing 124 mph in 1997 Acura Integra around 7:30 pm. A brief chase ensued, and Ferraro was taken into custody after blowing the engine in his vehicle. He faces charges in Lackawanna County Court.

Woman Attacks Driver, Cops on I-84 Monday AM


A Honesdale woman has been charged with aggravated assault and resisting arrest after an incident on Interstate 81 this morning. State Police in Dunmore say 32-year-old Erica Edinton attacked a 40-year-old Honesdale man while he was driving a truck on I-81 in Scranton at 7:20 am. Troopers say she left bleeding scratches on the left side of his head and interfered with his operation of the vehicle by stepping on the brake pedal. The driver pulled off the highway, left the vehicle and began walking away. When State Police responded to a report of a suspicious person, their investigation led them to Edinton, who had to be physical prevented from attacking the victim, and also assaulted two troopers trying to place her under arrest. She faces charges of aggravated and simple assault, recklessly endangering another and resisting arrest in Lackawanna County.

Wintry Mix Causes Accidents; Two Dead in Shohola


Slippery road conditions are being blamed for a number of accidents yesterday. Two people were killed in a one-vehicle crash on Route 6 in Shohola around noon on Monday. Authorities have not yet released the names of the victims. A tractor-trailer crashed and caught file on Interstate 84 around the same time. Traffic was reduced to one lane on the highway, which reopened just before 3 pm. Also, a Dingmans Ferry woman suffered minor injuries when she lost control on Route 739 at Pine Crest Road, went off the road, struck a utility pole and spun back into the southbound lane.

No Injuries in Crash at I-84 & Route 390 Friday


RichNo one was injured in a two-vehicle crash on Route 390 Friday morning. State Police in Pike County report 20-year-old Michael Somarelli of Tafton was traveling west on the Interstate 84 ramp in a 1999 Mitsubishi Gallant and failed to stop. The vehicle skid into Route 390 and struck a 2006 International Harvester tractor-trailer being driven north by 29-year-old Joseph Graham of Scranton. The Mitsubishi sustained severe damage and had to be towed from the scene. The crash damaged the rear of the trailer, which also had to be towed away.Text.

State Police in Pike Investigate Shooting Incident


State Police in Pike County are investigating a shooting incident in Greentown Saturday afternoon. Troopers report a 42-year-old man was injured when he was struck by a projectile, believed to be a bullet fragment that shattered a window on the rear entry door of a barn at Skymeadow Farm, off Route 507, around 4 pm. The man was struck by fragments of glass and metal, and was treated and released from Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton. The investigation continues and anyone with information should call police at 226-5718.

Woman Injured in Drunken Fall Down Snowy Bank


A New York woman suffered minor injuries after she climbed under a fence and rolled down a snow-covered hill at Gresham’s Chop House early Sunday morning. State Police in Pike County say 33-year-old Darlene Rogers was “heavily intoxicated” when the incident happened just before 1 am in Palmyra Township. Rogers suffered an injury to her lip from the fall and has been charged with public drunkenness. She was later released to a family member.

Resident Cited for Loose Pit Bulls on Ridge Street


Honesdale Borough Police cited a Ridge Street resident after receiving a report of two pit bulls running around the neighborhood and acting aggressively. The owners of the dogs, 24-year-old Corey Wells brought the dogs under control without incident, and was cited for dogs running at large and for failing the have the dogs licensed and vaccinated. Borough Police are also seeking information about a Monday morning hit-and-run accident on Grove Street. The unknown driver crashed through a fence and fled the scene. Anyone with information should call police at 253-1900.RichText.

Fire Marshall Investigates Carriage House Studio Fire


The State Police Fire Marshall Unit has been called in to determine the cause of a fire at an historic structure in Milford on Friday. The Carriage House Studio on Sawkill Avenue, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, caught fire just before 3 pm and fire crews from Milford, Dingman and Westfall brought the flames under control. One person was injured and transported from the scene, and the structure was heavily damaged..

Man Wanted for Assault on Child May Be in Area


Scranton City Police say a man wanted on charges he assaulted a three-year-old child may be in the Hawley or Honesdale areas. Investigators say 31-year-old Alexander Schock was last known to have lived in a N. Washington Ave. apartment. He is described as a white male standing 6-foor-3 and weighing 230 pounds with blue eye and light brown hair. He faces charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another and endangering the welfare of a child. Anyone with information should contact police at 588-8323.

Wayne Coroner Rules USP-Canaan Death ‘Homicide’


Wayne County Coroner Edward Howell ruled the death of a federal inmate involved in a fight at the US Penitentiary at Canaan, near Waymart, was homicide and caused by multiple stab wounds. Friday morning, 29-year-old Ephraim Goitom was pronounced dead at Wayne Memorial Hospital in Honesdale about an hour after the fight in a housing unit at the prison. The other inmate, who has not been identified, was treated for minor injuries. The FBI is investigating the incident. Goitom had been sentenced in July to 25 years in prison on weapons and drug charges after he killed a Connecticut police officer during a raid of his home..

Pike Coroner Identifies 66-Year-Old Man Killed in Fire


Pike County Coroner Kevin Stroyan identified the man who died in an apartment house fire in Lehman Township last week as 66-year-old Rudolph Cassella. Fire crews arrived at Keystone Court Wednesday afternoon to find heavy smoke coming from a second-story room, where Cassella was found. He died of smoke inhalation. Meanwhile, the state Department of Public Welfare is investigating Keystone Residential Services to determine whether the facility needs a license to house special needs adults. One tenant and a firefighter were injured. In all, 10 tenants have been affected by the fire and are receiving assistance from the American Red Cross.

Pike Coroner Identifies 66-Year-Old Man Killed in Fire


Pike County Coroner Kevin Stroyan identified the man who died in an apartment house fire in Lehman Township last week as 66-year-old Rudolph Cassella. Fire crews arrived at Keystone Court Wednesday afternoon to find heavy smoke coming from a second-story room, where Cassella was found. He died of smoke inhalation. Meanwhile, the state Department of Public Welfare is investigating Keystone Residential Services to determine whether the facility needs a license to house special needs adults. One tenant and a firefighter were injured. In all, 10 tenants have been affected by the fire and are receiving assistance from the American Red Cross.

USP-Canaan Inmate Dies at Hospital After Prison Fight


A federal inmate died after a fight Friday morning at the US Penitentiary at Canaan, near Waymart. A prison spokesman said 29-year-old Ephraim Goitom was pronounced dead at Wayne Memorial Hospital in Honesdale just before 11 am, about an hour after the fight in a housing unit at the prison. The other inmate, who has not been identified, was treated for minor injuries. Details regarding the cause of death or details of the fight are not being released during the FBI investigation into the incident. Goitom had been sentenced in July to 25 years in prison on weapons and drug charges after he killed a Connecticut police officer during a raid o his home.

Pike Man Attacked w/Baseball Bat for $60, Phone


A Pike County man told police he was attacked and robbed by a man wielding a baseball bat while he was walking along Milford Road Tuesday evening. Investigators say an unknown male traveling on foot struck the victim in the knee with the bat, stole $60 and a Samsung AT&T cell phone then fled on foot into Milford Common. The victim could say only that the man was wearing black sneakers, black sweatpants and a black sweatshirt. Anyone with information should call State Police in Monroe County at 839-7701.

PA Launches Investigation at Special Needs Complex


The apartment complex owned by Keystone Residential Services in Lehman Township, where a man died in a fire Wednesday afternoon, has come under investigation by a division of the Department of Public Welfare. The victim of the fatal fire has not yet been identified, but the state’s Bureau of Human Services Licensing is looking into whether Keystone needed a licensed to operate the housing complex for special needs adults. The company is not licensed by the state, and officials say if needed to by then the case would be referred to law enforcement.

Fatal Fire Claims Life of Apartment Building Tenant


State Police in Pike County report a fatal fire at an apartment building in Lehman Township yesterday afternoon. Investigators say the victim was found in the second story room where the fire appears to have started around 12:30 noon. Another tenant was briefly hospitalized and released, and a firefighter was also treated for injuries. The American Red Cross is assisting the tenants displaced by that blaze at Keystone Residential Apartments. Authorities have not released the identity of the victim, as yet. and the cause remains under investigation. The Bushkill, Marshalls Creek, Hemlock Farms and Dingman Township Fire Departments responded to the scene

State Police Investigate Theft of $10,000 in Coins


Someone stole approximately $10,000 worth of gold and silver coins from a Delaware Township home between Dec. 20 and Jan. 3. State Police in Pike County say the thief forced open a large, steel safe and removed the items. However police say there was no damage or sign of forced entry. Anyone with information should call police at 226-5718.

Wayne Grant Pays ‘Crimes Against Women’ Detective


Wayne County successfully competed for a grant to fund the prosecution and investigation of domestic violence and sexual assault crimes, as well as financial support for the Victims Intervention Program. Part of the three-year grant, according to District Attorney Janine Edwards, will be used to pay the salary of a new county detective who will work exclusively on Crimes Against Women. Retired State Police Trooper James Schultz has been hired by the county to take on these cases, including several high-profile homicides and attempted homicides over the past year.

USP-Canaan Inmate Indicted for Attack on Officer


An inmate at the United States Penitentiary at Canaan has been charged in a two-count indictment by a federal grand jury in Scranton. The indictment alleges that Jose Montalban assaulted a correctional officer with a dangerous weapon at the facility in Wayne County. The correctional officer suffered facial wounds, which required nine sutures. A second count of the indictment alleges that Montelban knowingly possessed a prohibited object -- a sharpened weapon commonly known as a "shank." In this particular case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is 20 years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine.

Three Escape Injury in Susquehanna County Crash


A Wayne County man and two others escaped injury in a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Route 171 and Route 371 in Herrick Township. State police in Susquehanna County report 68-year-old Peter Wisneski of Pleasant Mount was stopped at the intersection then turned left onto Route 171, but pulled his Chevrolet 1500 pick-up truck into the path of a Ford Taurus, driven by 19-year-old William Dolph of Thompson. Dolph attempted to avoid the collision, but struck the front driver’s side door. Both drivers and Dolph’s passenger were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.

Caretaker Reports Theft at Café on Ledgedale Road


The caretaker at a Greene Township restaurant reported a burglary to State Police in Pike County Dec. 15. The man went to check on Nicky’s Italian Café and Smokehouse on Ledgedale Road around 10 am and found the front door of the facility had been opened. Police say the thief removed several large screen televisions, the security monitor and recording device and piece of stainless steel cooking equipment. After checking the residential property next door, investigators found a computer, couch and several items stored in the garage were also taken. Anyone with information should call police at 226-5718.

Camp Counselor Charged w/2001 Indecent Assault


A New Jersey man has been arrested on indecent assault charges stemming from an incident 12 years ago at a Lackawaxen Township summer camp. State Police in Pike County report the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office arrested 30-year-old Aryeh Goodman Friday on a charge of indecent assault on a male juvenile while employed as a counselor at Camp Menachem in 2001. The victim reported the incident to police last year. Goodman is being held in New Jersey, awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania.

Driver Uninjured in New Year’s Day Rollover on 739


A Pike County man escaped injury New Year’s Day after the 2006 Honda Civic he was driving rolled over off of Route 739 in Dingman Township. State Police at Blooming Grove say 23-year-old Ryan Blake of Dingmans Ferry was driving too fast for conditions around 11 am and lost control about a half-mile north of Dark Swamp Road. The Honda crossed the opposing lane and traveled over an embankment, landing on its passenger side. Blake was charged with speeding and the Honda, which sustained moderate damage, was towed from the scene.

H’dale Police Charge Teen in Vine St. Go-Cart Theft


Honesdale Borough Police arrested a 16-year-old male on theft charges after a Vine Street resident reported a go-cart had been stolen from his property Dec. 15. As a result of an investigation, a juvenile petition has been filed with the District Attorney’s office for theft and trespassing.

Also, borough police are investigating numerous incidents in which eggs have been thrown at parked vehicles at various locations during the month of December. Anyone with information should call police at 253-1900.

Indian Forest Service Official Faces Assault Charges


An official with the Indian Forest Services heads to the Pike County Court of Common Pleas later this month on charges of indecent assault and false imprisonment. The incident occurred July 24, when 52-year-old Surendra Prasad Mohapatra of India allegedly attacked a clerk at the Hampton Inn in Westfall Township. Arrest documents say Mohapatra called the front desk seeking help with connecting his computer to the Internet and demanded someone come to his room. Once inside, the female victim alleges Mohapatra made unwanted advances and then tried to block the door when she went to leave. Mohapatra was part of a group of 30 Indian officers visiting the States for an executive training program that visited Grey Towers in Milford.

Motorists Report Rare Creature on Interstate 84


State Police in Pike County are asking anyone who may have seen a strange creature along Interstate 84 on Wednesday evening to give them a call. Troopers say an Okapi, which resembles a horse with pointed, spiraling horns on its forehead and zebra-like stripes on its legs, was seen trotting down the westbound lane of I-84 between mile markers 41 and 45 in Milford Township around 5:30 pm. Most closely related to the giraffe, Okapi come from the rainforests of central Africa and feed on plants and shrubs. The animal was last seen running through a wooded area off the shoulder of the interstate. Anyone who may have seen the creatures should call police at 226-5718.

Bunnell Waste Owner Charged w/Illegal Dumping, Etc.


Agents from the Attorney General's Environmental Crimes Section filed criminal charges against a Wayne County man accused of illegally burning and burying waste in Wayne County. According to the criminal complaint, from January 2009 through February 2012 50-year-old Joseph Bunnell of Honesdale allegedly obtained thousands of dollars from customers by misrepresenting that their waste was properly disposed of at a landfill. Attorney General Linda Kelly said Bunnell Waste Removal Inc. allegedly provided customers with bogus landfill weigh tickets that falsely indicated their waste was legally disposed of at the landfill. The charges state that instead Bunnell buried and burned the waste at his property in Honesdale Borough or at a property in Buckingham Township. He was arraigned on two counts of illegal transportation, one count of illegal dumping, one count of illegal burning, one count of illegal storage, one count of deceptive or fraudulent business practices, one count of theft by deception, and one count of corrupt organizations. He was arraigned and released on $2,500 bail.

DUI Suspect Drives Wrong Way on Interstate 81


A woman suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol traveled the wrong direction on Interstate 84 New Year’s morning. State Police in Dunmore say 22-year-old Paige Cicardo of Abrightsville drove a Ford Fusion south in the northbound lanes for 18 miles from the Main Avenue exit around 5:30 am. She was driving at high speed before being stopped by a rolling road block. No one was injured, but police say had it not been New Year’s day, the woman, her passenger and innocent motorists would like have been injured.

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