PITTSTON – City police are looking for Bryant Astles, of Pittston, whom they say is wanted on a charge of indecent assault.
Police say they received a complaint from a 15-year-old girl that Astles had indecent contact with her while staying at a family member's house at 25 Riverview Manor in Pittston in early September.
Police believe that Astles may be in the Wilkes-Barre or Hanover Township area staying with friends. Anyone with any information is asked to contact Pittston police at 654-2425 or call 911.
PITTSTON – A man who allegedly robbed a senior citizen at knifepoint during a home invasion is in custody and facing multiple charges, city police said.
Police were dispatched at 11:01 a.m. on Sept. 13 to a North Main Street residence for a reported robbery and were told by the victim, 88-year-old Sam Alesso, that a man entered his residence through an unlocked back door.
The man brandished a butcher-type knife, pointed it toward Alesso and told him that he would kill him if he didn't give him his money. The suspect then turned over Alesso, who was on the couch, and took his wallet, fleeing on foot with about $54, police said.
The suspect's description was checked against surveillance camera footage of a local business and police determined that the suspect was inside the business shortly before the robbery took place. The suspect was known to police from prior contact as Matthew Graziano.
Luzerne County 911 immediately put out Graziano's description and the Luzerne County Sheriff's Department spotted him at a South Main Street parking lot, took him into custody and transported him to the Pittston police station.
Graziano was charged with robbery, burglary, criminal trespass, simple assault, theft by unlawful taking, terroristic threats and possessing instruments of crime, police said.
He was arraigned before District Judge Andrew Barilla and was committed to Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $15,000 straight bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. on Sept. 26.
SUGARLOAF TWP. – A Michigan man was arrested on charges he discharged a fire extinguisher that caused a motel to be evacuated early Wednesday morning.
Joseph Robert Birckelbaw, 36, of Northville, Mich., was arraigned by District Judge James Tupper in Kingston Township on charges of criminal mischief, false alarm to agency of public safety, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $5,000 bail.
Township police allege Birckelbaw set off a fire extinguisher inside the Candlewood Suites on Bowans Hill Road at about 12:30 a.m. Chemicals from the fire extinguisher set off the alarm, causing guests to evacuate the motel, according to the criminal complaint.
Police said in the complaint Birckelbaw was intoxicated when he was found outside the motel.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled on Sept. 24 before District Judge Daniel O'Donnell in Sugarloaf.
WILKES-BARRE – A woman was arraigned Monday on charges she assaulted a state police trooper.
Cheryl Ann McMann, 46, of East Main Street, Plymouth, was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, disorderly conduct, harassment and three counts of resisting arrest. She was arraigned by District Judge Martin Kane in Wilkes-Barre and released on $20,000 unsecured bail.
According to the complaint, McMann was pulled over for driving without headlights on the Sans Souci Parkway in Hanover Township on Sept. 1. She was taken to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, where she refused a blood test, and allegedly grabbed the throat of a trooper.
WILKES-BARRE – George Daniel Walley, 25, of Carlisle Street, Wilkes-Barre, was arraigned Monday on charges he burglarized a residence on Horton Street.
Walley was charged with burglary, criminal trespass, theft and harassment. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $10,000 bail.
Police allege Walley entered the Horton Street residence and choked another man, who was sleeping. Walley ran out of the residence and was captured in a rear yard on Carlisle Street, where police said they found a television and a jacket stolen from the Horton Street house, according to the criminal complaint.
HAZLETON – A man was arraigned Monday on charges of drunken driving.
Orlando Ferrer, 20, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was charged with driving under the influence, careless driving, driving with a suspended license, disorderly conduct and purchase of alcohol by minor. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $100.
City police said Ferrer was observed driving a Jeep carelessly into a parking lot on West Mine Street at about 2:20 a.m. Monday. Police said Ferrer stopped the vehicle and played music at a loud volume. He displayed signs of intoxication and was taken to Hazleton General Hospital for a blood test.