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Police Blotter


February 16. 2013 1:25AM
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HANOVER TWP. -- Five people were charged Monday in relation to a fight and gunfire outside the American Legion Post 609 on Lee Park Avenue earlier this month.


Township police said the gunshots were fired by Clifford Harp, 28, of Hanover Township, in the air and into the ground during a fight involving other men outside the legion on March 6.


Police said Thomas Ogrodnick, 24, of Warrior Run, David Ritchie, 22, of Wapwallopen, Joseph Ritchie, 23, of Wilkes-Barre, and Robert Steininger, 29, of Hanover Township, were in the legion and verbally harassing and threatening each other.


Steininger left the legion and was outside talking to Harp when Ogrodnick, David Ritchie and Joseph Ritchie also went outside. The men became involved in an argument that turned into a physical fight. During the fight, police allege Harp fired a .9mm pistol numerous times into the air and ground.


Steininger, Ogrodnick, David Ritchie and Joseph Ritchie were charged with simple assault, disorderly conduct and harassment. Harp was charged with simple assault, disorderly conduct and violating a township ordinance of discharging a firearm in public.


The charges were filed with District Judge Joseph Halesey in Hanover Township and mailed to the five men.


Preliminary hearings are scheduled on May 8.


WILKES-BARRE – Police investigating a burglary at an apartment in Sherman Hills arrested a man on firearm offenses.


Richard Marcus Mitchell, 35, of South Grant Street, Wilkes-Barre, was arraigned Saturday on charges of illegal possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm with an altered serial number. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $25,000 bail.


According to the criminal complaint:


Police investigating a burglary in building 320 at Sherman Hills just after 5 a.m. Saturday encountered Mitchell, who came out of an apartment in his underwear.


Police asked Mitchell for his identification card. While Mitchell entered his apartment, police spotted a handgun on a mattress, the complaint says.


The handgun had an obliterated serial number, police said.


Police said Mitchell was not permitted to own or possess a gun because of previous felony convictions.


A preliminary hearing is scheduled on March 22 in Wilkes-Barre Central Court.


PLYMOUTH – A man was arraigned Saturday on charges he assaulted a woman and struggled with officers.


Robert Thomas Judzikowski, 39, of High Street, Plymouth, was charged with two counts of simple assault, and one count each of resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness. He was released on $5,000 unsecured bail.


Police investigated a complaint by Kimberly Rittenhouse that Judzikowski choked her on High Street on Thursday. Judzikowski struggled with an officer and had to be carried into the Plymouth Police Department when he refused to walk, the criminal complaint says.


A preliminary hearing is scheduled on Wednesday before District Judge Donald Whittaker in Nanticoke.


DUPONT – A woman was arraigned Sunday on charges she provided a false name to police investigating a disturbance on Simpson Street.


Shannon Nicole Hunter, 21, of Hickory Street, Scranton, was charged with providing false identification to law enforcement, false report, disorderly conduct, public drunkenness and harassment. She was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $10,000 bail.


According to the criminal complaint:


Police investigated a disturbance with someone continuously honking a vehicle horn on Simpson Street at about 2 a.m. Saturday.


Police encountered Hunter in a vehicle. She allegedly gave a false name and sent a text message to another woman stating, "her family would pay for this (expletive)," according to the complaint.


A preliminary hearing is scheduled on March 28 before Senior District Judge Andrew Barilla in Pittston.


NANTICOKE – A man was arraigned Sunday on charges he stalked his ex-girlfriend and damaged a toilet in a cell at police headquarters.


Stephen Michael Pivinski, 37, of Lee Park Avenue, Hanover Township, was charged with two counts each of criminal mischief and criminal trespass, and one count each of defiant trespass, resisting arrest, institutional vandalism, indecent exposure, stalking, harassment, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $5,000 bail.


According to the criminal complaint:


A 14-year-old girl told police Pivinski tried to enter the home on Garfield Street where his ex-girlfriend lives just before 6 p.m. Saturday. Police said they found Pivinski trying to hide on a porch.


The girl told police Pivinski was not allowed at the home.


Pivinski was placed in a cell at police headquarters, where he took off all his clothes and kicked a toilet, the complaint says.


Police restrained Pivinski with handcuffs. Pivinski banged his head on cell bars, causing an injury, according to the complaint.


A preliminary hearing is scheduled on March 28 before District Judge Donald Whittaker in Nanticoke.




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