Last updated: January 06. 2014 11:56PM - 3428 Views
By - rdupuis@civitasmedia.com

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WILKES-BARRE — A homeless man arrested for public drunkenness and burglary in Pittston — including a beer heist in which police said they tracked down the suspects by following a trail of Bud Light cans — entered a guilty plea Monday in Luzerne County Court.

John Patte, 48, admitted to one count of criminal trespassing, one count of disorderly conduct and one count of conspiracy to commit burglary, respectively, for the following crimes:

• On May 25, Pittston police were dispatched to a Cherry Street apartment for a report of Patte kicking a door and trying to get inside. The tenant told police that Patte had been there before and had caused trouble, according to an affidavit. Police arrived to find Patte, smelling of alcohol, behind the building. Another tenant told officers that Patte was previously advised he was not allowed on the property.

• On May 30, Pittston police were called to Spring Alley for a report of an intoxicated man screaming and lying in the roadway. On arrival, they found Patte sitting in the road, intoxicated, with one opened 32-ounce can of Busch Ice beer and a second, closed can. He was unable to walk without staggering, police said.

• On Sept. 17, Pittston police said they tracked a series of beverage containers to the Susquehanna River shoreline, where John Patte and two other men were arrested after a reported burglary at a distributor. Police were alerted to a burglary at Patel’s Beverage, 250 Kennedy Blvd., at about 2:16 a.m. When officers arrived, they followed the cans from the business to Riverfront Park, according to arrest papers.

Patte and one of the other suspects began to run as officers yelled for them to stop, police said. During a foot chase, an officer fell and suffered a minor hand injury. Patte was arrested when he was found lying on the ground adjacent to the river. The other suspects were arrested shortly afterward.

After Monday’s plea before Luzerne County Judge Joseph Sklarosky Jr., Patte is forbidden from having contact with anyone at 6 Cherry St., must make $214 in restitution to Pittston police and with his co-defendants is responsible for more than $300 in restitution to Patel’s Beverage.

Sentencing is set for March 3.

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