HANOVER TWP. — Wearing a T-shirt that read “Got Blood,” 57-year-old Wayne Harding was arraigned late Tuesday night on charges he threatened to kill Freeland police officers and officials and burn the borough to the ground.
Harding’s threat was taken seriously; borough officials postponed their monthly council meeting.
Mayor Tami Martin and council President Robert Quinn did not return messages for comment Wednesday.
Harding was arraigned by District Judge Joseph Halesey in Hanover Township on a single count of terroristic threats. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $25,000 bail.
Quinn contacted Freeland police at about noon Tuesday, alerting them to the alleged verbal threat by Harding.
According to the criminal complaint:
Quinn told police Harding approached a borough maintenance employee, who is not named, on Monday in the Freeland Park on Front Street. Harding allegedly told the employee, “I’m going to burn the town of Freeland to the ground, then I’m going to kill the code officer and his family, and then I’m going to kill the police.”
Harding told the employee the reason he was going to kill Code Enforcement Officer Brian Maso and police officers was because of his recent arrest for allegedly threatening Maso.
Maso had cited Harding with a code violation in recent days.
Court records show police charged Harding on Aug. 21 with terroristic threats and two counts of disorderly conduct. Those charges were withdrawn, permitting Harding to be released from the county prison, where he had been jailed for lack of $5,000 bail.
Police then cited Harding with a summary charge of disorderly conduct for alleged threats toward Maso.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled on Sept. 11.