2009-01-01 / Police Reports

POLICE REPORTS

Car Rolls Over Three Times

A Gaithersburg, Md., man escaped harm when his eastbound Accura sedan rolled over three times in the median strip of Interstate 70 on Sunday, December 21. Fifty-four-year-old Randy D. Herbison lost control of his vehicle at 1:06 a.m. while driving too fast for icy road conditions, state police related. Herbison will be cited for driving on roadways laned for traffic.

Crash Leads To DUI Charges

State police investigators reported alcohol was a factor in a single-vehicle crash along Route 522 just south of Burnt Cabins on Tuesday, December 23. Driver Phillip Joseph Secrist, 45, of Burnt Cabins lost control of his northbound vehicle, which overturned at 8:27 p.m. Secrist was wearing his seat belt at the time of the collision, which resulted in a drunk-driving arrest.

Mailbox Damaged

A mailbox located at 3315 Stoneybreak Road, Warfordsburg, was damaged by a blunt object between 11 p.m. on December 20 and 9 a.m. on December 21. The mailbox belongs to Tom David Dudich, 44, of Warfordsburg. Anyone having further information related to this case of criminal mischief can contact Fulton County Crime Solvers at 717-485-5771 or Trooper Bartlett at 717-485-3131.

Car Rolls Onto Roof

A 50-year-old McConnellsburg woman was transported to Fulton County Medical Center for treatment of major injuries when her car rolled onto its roof on Thursday, December 25. Penny Brumbaugh was transported from the accident scene to the hospital following the 5:30 p.m. crash by the Hustontown Volunteer Fire Co.

Brumbaugh, state police reported, lost control of her 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt while negotiating a left-hand curve in the Dublin Township roadway. The car left the road, struck two small trees and rolled onto its roof. She was wearing a seat belt, and her vehicle was removed from the scene by Lilley's Towing.

Bicycle Stolen

A silver, 20-inch Mongoose bicycle belonging to a 17-year-old McConnellsburg boy was stolen from the yard of 65 Hillside Estates in Todd Township on Sunday, December 21, at 7 a.m. Anyone having additional information pertinent to this theft is urged to call Fulton County Crime Solvers at 717-485-5771 or Trooper Fabian at 717-485-3131.

Maryland Man Cited After Collision

A Laurel, Md., man faces charges of driving on roadways laned for traffic in connection with an accident along the westbound lanes of Interstate 70 last week in Union Township.

State police indicated 51-yearold Evan Hooper was driving too fast for the icy road conditions and slid into a hillside with his 1995 Ford Explorer. The vehicle was disabled as a result of the damage sustained during the Sunday, December 21, crash at 1:06 a.m. Hooper was wearing a seat belt and escaped injury.

State police were assisted on the scene by the Needmore Volunteer Fire Co. and fire police.

Truck Strikes Utility Pole

A Needmore man escaped harm when his 2004 Dodge Ram crashed into a utility pole along Buck Valley Road over the weekend.

Timothy R. Haulman, 38, lost control of his eastbound vehicle while rounding a right-hand curve in the Bethel Township roadway. The truck crossed into the oncoming lane and onto the berm, where it struck a utility pole with its left side at 10:01 p.m. Haulman, who was wearing a seat belt, will be charged with driving on roadways laned for traffic.

Rock Thrown

A rock was thrown and struck the hood and windshield of a vehicle belonging to Mechanical Contractors of Virginia. The truck was located at 13376 Buck Valley Road, Warfordsburg, when the mischief occurred between noon and 3 p.m. on December 27. Anyone having additional information linked to this incident is urged to call Fulton County Crime Solvers at 717-485-5771 or Trooper Stasko at 717-485-3131.

Three Cited After Fight At Pine Crest

Three Fulton County men were cited by state police over the weekend after an incident at Pine Crest Inn in Licking Creek Township. James Laughlin Jr., 43, of Licking Creek Township was cited for harassment and disorderly conduct, while David Burton, 43, of Dublin Township and 35-year-old Ayr Township resident Chad Strait were both cited for harassment.

According to state police, the men fought on the front steps and in the parking lot of Pine Crest Inn on Sunday, December 28, at 1:08 a.m. Laughlin reportedly struck Burton in the face, causing injury, and Burton threw a can that struck Strait in the face, causing minor injury.

In addition, Strait shoved 40- year-old Lori Evans of Dublin Township. Evans, in turn, stumbled and sustained minor injury. Two of the individuals were treated at Fulton County Medical Center.

Two To Be Charged With Harassment

Two Hustontown residents will be charged with harassment through the office of Magisterial District Judge Devin Horne in connection with an incident at 168 Pitt Street, Hustontown. On Saturday, December 27, at 7 a.m. an 18-year-old woman and a 21- year-old man became involved in an argument that turned physical. The women suffered redness to the side of her face, and the man sustained a small scratch on the front of his neck. The names of the two individuals were not released by state police.

Two Charged Following Fight

Two Ayr Township residents were cited for harassment after a fight at a Gerald Circle home on Saturday, December 27. A 34- year-old woman reportedly grabbed the shirt of the 21-yearold man as well as his shoulder and neck during the argument in the living room of the Ayr Township residence at 3:25 a.m. The man then allegedly put the woman in a "headlock" before throwing her onto a bed. The man then contacted state police officials to turn himself in.

Both individuals were cited through the office of Magisterial District Judge Wendy Mellott. The names of the two individuals were not released by state police.

Log Thrown Through Cabin Window

Burglars gained access to a cabin along Jamie Road in Mc- Connellsburg by throwing a log through its window between noon on December 14 and 2 p.m. on December 26. Owner Clyde Preston Heliman Jr., 65, of Manchester, Pa., told state police investigators the burglars stole several pieces of hunting equipment. The loss has been estimated at $40. Anyone having further information related to this case can contact Fulton County Crime Solvers at 717-485-5771 or Trooper Bartlett at 717-485-3131.

Cinder Block Damages Vehicle

A cinder block was thrown at the rear passenger side door of a vehicle belonging to 54-year-old Needmore resident Barbara J. Mentzer on Friday, December 26, at 11:57 p.m. Mentzer's vehicle, which was parked at 10182 Timber Ridge Road, sustained a dent. Anyone with additional information concerning this mischief is urged to call Fulton County Crime Solvers at 717-485- 5771 or Trooper Hibner at 717- 485-3131.

Deer, Vehicle Collide

A white-tailed deer and an eastbound 2005 Chrysler Pacifica collided along Route 16 in Ayr Township on Saturday, December 27, at 4:55 p.m. Driver Shannon M. Nagle, 46, Greencastle, and passenger Joseph T. Nagle, 74, also of Greencastle, were both wearing seat belts and escaped harm.

Crime Of The Week

Theft Is Crime Of The Week

Fulton County Crime Solvers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of thieves responsible for a recent incident along Back Run Road in Ayr Township.

According to state police, thieves removed four miscellaneous metal parts from a selffabricating log splitter between November 15 and November 29. The owner of the log splitter James L. Jones Jr. of Mercersburg told state police investigators the missing parts are valued at $463.

Anyone having information concerning this crime can call Fulton County Crime Solvers at 717-485-5771. Anyone providing information leading to the arrest of a suspect is eligible to receive a reward of up to $1,000 but will not have to give their name or appear in court. Crime Solvers will also pay for information leading to arrests in connection with any other crimes committed in Fulton County.

Authorities: Nursing Home Boss Involved In Abuse

PITTSBURGH (AP) - An Allegheny County nursing home nursing supervisor and four staffers are charged with the abusing a 94-year-old Alzheimer's patient for months, including allegedly punching her in the face and stamping on her feet.

The employees had sole control of the unit housing the patient when they occasionally worked together on overnight shifts at Kane Regional Center's Glen Hazel facility, county executive Dan Onorato said Friday.

The five were charged this week in the alleged abuse of Thelma Bryant, who uses a wheelchair and is unable to care for herself. The abuse spanned about six months, until another employee reported it in October, authorities said.

Mary Ann Bower, 57, of Munhall, was the licensed practical nurse in charge of four nursing assistants who are charged with assault, neglect and harassment. Bower, who was hired in 1987, was charged with harassment for allegedly throwing objects at the elderly woman and pouring water on her head.

The others were accused of elbowing Bryant in the chest, punching her in the eye, stamping on her feet and throwing oranges at her face, according to criminal complaints.

They were identified as Danielle Taylor, 46, of Pittsburgh; Shelly Keene, 35, of West Mifflin; Karen Perry, 46, of Homestead; and Shalaya Hatten, 30, of Pittsburgh. All have been fired.

Because a supervisor was involved, the mistreatment was able to go on for so long, said Kane executive director Dennis Biondo said. Bryant is now doing well, Biondo said.

No other patients or staff at the 210-bed facility reported abuse, authorities said.

"That's the puzzling thing. There's no explanation'' of why Bryant was allegedly singled out, Biondo said.

None of the accused could immediately be reached for comment.

No additional arrests are expected, county police said. Onorato said the county will try to prevent the five from receiving pension and other benefits.

PA Man Making Own Dent In Car Repair Business

By Walt Frank

ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) - Not everyone knows Curt Gearhart by name - he is simply known as "The Dent Man.''

"They don't remember my name. They remember what I did,'' said Gearhart, owner of The Dent Man in the Splish Splash Car and Pet Center at Plank Road and Convention Center Boulevard on Business Route 220.

Gearhart specializes in paintless dent repair - removing smallto medium-sized dents with no body filler or paint - which he said is different from work performed at auto body shops that specialize in collision repair.

"When there is a dent about the size of your favorite coffee cup and the paint is not broken, it can be fixed without taking the car apart and disturbing the factory finish,'' said Gearhart, who learned his trade at Premier Technologies in Dallas.

For years, Gearhart, a 1976 graduate of Altoona Area High School, packed his specially designed tools and traveled to numerous car lots throughout the area to perform his work. He does most of his work for dealers in the Huntingdon, State College, Altoona and Bedford areas.

He also travels outside of the immediate area to repair haildamaged vehicles.

He recently decided to expand his business to include interior and exterior detailing and opened his own shop.

"I am trying to get more individual customers. When you go to trade in your car, you may want to get it detailed - that increases the trade-in value. People buy cars based on the shine; they don't always look inside,'' Gearhart said.

"People also trade cars because they are dented or scratched. They don't need to do that any more,'' he said. "People want to hold onto their vehicles longer but still want them to look nice. For the price of one car payment, I can make it look like it just came off the lot.''

Gearhart has done dent removal work for at least 10 years for Huston Ford in Huntingdon.

"The general public doesn't realize that something like this is available. They can take their vehicle to him and get it done,'' said Kirk Haverstock, sales manager at Huston Ford.

He also has removed many dents from vehicles at Price Motors of Cassville.

"It is a relatively inexpensive way to repair dents and make the cars much more presentable. We are very fussy about our cars,'' owner Fred Price said. "He does a good job; he is reliable and dependable.''

Gearhart said he has no plans to add a partner.

"I am a one-man operation. That way, I know it is done right,'' he said.

High Court Backs Murder Conviction Of Altoona Man

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania's Supreme Court is upholding the murder conviction and death sentence of an Altoona man who killed his ex-girlfriend's husband and left him dead in a bedroom closet.

Justice J. Michael Eakin acknowledges in the majority opinion problems in the trial of William Wright III. But he states there is overwhelming evidence that Wright killed James Mowery on Thanksgiving Day in 1998.

Wright had dated Mowery's wife, Tammy, while the couple was briefly separated. During that time, Wright fathered a child with Tammy.

Prosecutors say Wright was furious over James Mowery's willingness to raise the child as his own. They say Wright shot James Mowery several times in the back as he hid in a closet.

Wildlife Refuge Established In Poconos

SAYLORSBURG, Pa. (AP) - The Poconos' scenic Cherry Valley is among the most pristine natural habitats in Pennsylvania, and the federal government has taken a step to keep it that way.

Officials on Tuesday announced the creation of a $76 million, 20,466-acre national wildlife refuge in Cherry Valley in Monroe County.

Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge is only the third such refuge in the state.

The designation means the region will get federal money to conserve the valley.

Cherry Valley begins at Route 33 in Saylorsburg, where streams and springs filter off the ridge to form Cherry Creek.

From there, the waters snake through southern Monroe County, supplying wetlands and small lakes before flowing into the Delaware River just north of the Delaware Water Gap.

Holiday Lights Win National Award

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A Pittsburgh homeowner's elaborate Christmas light display has won a national contest.

Robert Cox synchronized his display of 210,000 lights to the music of the Trans Siberian Orchestra.

When the judges of the national "Symphony In Lights'' contest got a look at his lights, they crowned him best in the country.

Cox won a trip to Chicago to hear the Trans Siberian Orchestra play for the New Year's celebration.

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