EDWARDSVILLE — Police arrested a Wilkes-Barre man on charges he brandished a gun during an extortion scheme to remove nude photographs from the Internet for cash.
Russell Ladell Meyer, 22, last known address as Yorktown Road, Mountain Top, was found hiding in an attic of an apartment at Hilltop Apartments on Roosevelt Street on Wednesday night.
Police said they recovered from under a couch in the apartment a pellet gun Meyer allegedly used to extort a mother and her daughter.
He was arraigned by District Judge James Tupper in Kingston Township on charges of simple assault and flight to avoid apprehension. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $5,000 bail.
Police said Meyer was wanted by the county Adult Probation department on a violation of an unrelated case.
According to the criminal complaint:
A mother and her daughter told police Meyer “pulled a gun” on them outside an apartment on Roosevelt Street just after 6 p.m.
Police entered the apartment and spoke with Tia Pardini, who claimed two women started a fight with her and Meyer. Pardini allowed officers into her apartment.
Officers noticed the kitchen ceiling had collapsed, indicating someone was in the attic where Meyer was found, the complaint says. Meyer allegedly told police he was hiding because he was wanted by adult probation.
Pardini said a pellet gun was under a couch in Pardini’s apartment.
Police said the mother and her daughter stated Meyer had posted nude photographs of the daughter on the Internet and wanted $150 to remove the pictures. When they arrived at the apartment, Meyer first wanted the money while the daughter first wanted the pictures deleted.
When Meyer lifted his shirt allegedly showing a gun, the mother pushed her daughter away. Meyer allegedly told the women, “I know what days you get your kid and I know where you live (expletive),” the complaint says.
Court records say Meyer was wanted for failing to attend anger management classes from an assault case from 2011.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled on May 7 before District Judge Paul Roberts in Kingston.