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Police Notes from Towanda, Tunkhannock, Gibson and Laporte Barracks

Four Injured in Ulster Crash

The driver of an SUV sustained serious injuries, and his three passengers—two of them children—had to be transported to the Robert Packer Hospital for treatment after colliding with a Kenworth truck on Route 220 in Ulster Township on Tuesday afternoon, March 15.

State police report that a 2004 Dodge Durango operated by Larry Nichols, Jr., 37, Towanda, was driving south when it strayed into the opposing lane of travel and collided with the northbound truck shortly before 5 p.m. It was a head-on collision and the SUV rolled onto its side after impact.

Nichols sustained what were described as major injuries and a 10-year-old female passenger sustained moderate injuries. There were also minor injuries reported to passenger, Stephen C. Engler, 39, Monroeton, and a three-year-old male passenger in a rear seat who was not secured in a child passenger seat.

Citations are forthcoming.

Stolen Splicer Valued at $10,000

When someone stole a utility trailer parked near Route 414 in Bradford County's Monroe Township, they were likely unaware that a small piece of equipment inside is valued at $10,000. That does not include the value of the eight-by-12-feet white trailer itself and a 3,500 watt Honda generator also inside.

State police report that the trailer and equipment are the property of Frontier Communications, who report that a Fusi Kura Arc Fusion Splicer, valued at $10,000, is used for fiber optic cables. The splicer is described as 10-by-six inches and contained in a yellow-colored plastic box.

The theft occurred on March 11 at 2:50 a.m., it was reported, and was taken from the vicinity of Dinelli Lane. Anyone with information on this crime should contact state police at 570-265-2186.

Truck Driver Seriously Injured

A truck driver from Illinois sustained what were described as major injuries when his International Harvester truck rolled over an embankment along Route 706 in Stevens Township, spilling a load that required a DEP response and a Hazmat team. The accident was pictured in the March 10 Rocket-Courier, but there had been no news release from state police at that time.

State police say that on Sunday, March 6, at 1:30 p.m. James B. Roaden, 62, Carterville, IL, was eastbound and rounding a left curve near the former Alan Warburton farm when he lost control and the truck went off the road and rolled over an embankment. There was a spill of unspecified material, which apparently reached the nearby Wyalusing Creek.

"Containment and clean-up measures began under the direction of the vehicle's owner," state police reported. "Upon conclusion of the clean-up, ground and soil samples are scheduled to be tested and the results provided to DEP."

A passenger in the truck, Justin L. Pfirman, 30, Cogan Station, sustained minor injuries. Roaden will probably be cited for careless driving.

State Police Team Makes Arrest

Pennsylvania State Police brought in an emergency response team on the evening of March 15 in Towanda Township to make an arrest in an assault complaint of an individual who had previously threatened violence to police.

They report that Todd Ellis Spencer, 50, Towanda RR 4, was taken into custody at his home without incident after he allegedly assaulted two female victims, ages 57 and 33, and threatened them with a firearm. A warrant was issued for what was regarded as a high-risk arrest and the emergency response team was called in. Also assisting was the Bradford County Sheriff's Office who served civil process on Spencer after his arrest.

Spencer was preliminarily arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Michael Shaw and committed to the Bradford County Correctional Facility in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Rape Alleged in Troy Township

A Troy area man has been arrested for the rape and indecent assault of a female child. State police say that the accused, Harold VanZile, had committed these alleged crimes for a seven-year period between 1997 and 2004.

VanZile was remanded to the Bradford County Correctional Facility on March 10 in lieu of $50,000 bail. After an investigation, the following charges were filed: rape, aggravated indecent assault of a child and statutory sexual assault.

Sex Crimes Alleged in Canton

A 27-year-old Canton man has been arrested for indecent assault and corruption of a minor for alleged offenses between Feb. 10 and 11 of this year.

State police say that Daniel Doty committed the crimes against a 15-year-old girl in Canton Borough. He was incarcerated in the county jail on $50,000 bail after a preliminary arraignment before Magisterial District Judge Jonathan Wilcox in Troy.

Duo Arrested for Burglary

State police have arrested an 18-year-old Monroeton resident for a late-night burglary on March 13 on Hinman Street in Monroeton, with charges pending against a 17-year-old juvenile reported to be his accomplice.

They report that Travis Clyde Belcher and the unnamed juvenile broke into the home by prying open a window between 11 p.m. and midnight with the intent to steal prescription medication from the 43-year-old male victim. Belcher was also charged with criminal trespass and criminal mischief and was last reported in the county jail in lieu of $20,000 bail. The alleged accomplice will be adjudicated through the county juvenile court system.

Man Kicks State Trooper

A 19-year-old Nicholson man, during the course of being arrested for public drunkenness in Dimock Township, ended up charged with aggravated assault for kicking a state policeman on March 11.

Andrew Huffsmith had been placed under arrest for public drunkenness and underage possession or purchase of liquor or malt or brewed beverage by Troopers Thomas Horan and Eric Burns. Huffsmith then allegedly kicked Trooper Horan in his mid-section. Huffsmith was arraigned on charges of aggravated assault and resisting arrest before District Judge Jeffrey Hollister and later remanded to the Susquehanna County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

The incident occurred on Baker Road.

SUV Crashes in Wysox

A 24-year-old Wysox man sustained only minor injuries on the afternoon of Saturday, March 12, when his 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche went into a ditch and struck an embankment to avoid a rear-end collision on Route 6 almost 500 feet east of the Route 187 intersection in Wysox.

State police say Rodney A. Confer, Jr. was eastbound and unable to slow in time to avoid a collision with slowing traffic in front of him, swerving off the road. He was not wearing a seat belt in the 1:55 p.m. accident and was cited for careless driving.

Pickup, Garbage Truck Collide

Route 6 in Wyalusing Township was the scene of a rear-end collision on Friday, March 11, when a pickup truck drove into the rear of a garbage truck shortly before noon.

The driver of the 2011 Ford F-250 pickup, Gerard Russomagno, Lebanon, NJ, complained of a minor injury. Dale Brown, Clarks Summit, was driving the garbage truck, a 1999 International, and was not injured.

Forgery, Theft Alleged

A Tunkhannock woman faces forgery and theft charges involving a total of $1,200 in cashed checks at various times in Falls Township.

Tunkhannock Township Police arrested Karen Newell for these crimes, which were filed in the office of Magisterial District Judge Carl Smith. The incidents occurred while the accused was working as caregiver for the disabled victim, it was reported.

Home Break-in Reported

Between March 7 and 10, someone pulled halfway into the driveway of the William Sterling residence, 9859 Creek Road in Susquehanna County, then went to a door on the south side of the house, toward the rear.

The door was kicked and the deadbolt lock was broken, gaining entrance to the residence. All drawers and cabinets were opened. A jar of change containing about $10 was taken as well as a wooden box containing antique silverware.

Call the Gibson Barracks at 570-465-3154 with any information on this burglary.

Truck Tire Rolls into Jeep

On March 1 at 4:45 a.m., a 2004 Freightliner driven by Richard S. Yahn, 57, Nichols, NY, was traveling south along Interstate 81, New Milford Township, when a tire from the trailer broke loose.

It rolled along the interstate and was struck by a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, driven by Christopher A. Nowicki, 43, Randolph, NJ.

Cars Collide in New Milford

On March 12 at 2:47 p.m., Debra A. Barton, 19, Susquehanna, was stopped at the intersection of School Road and State Route 11, New Milford Township. Chad D. Perry, 36, New Milford, was traveling south on State Route 11.

State police say Barton made the left-hand turn onto 11 without yielding the right of way to Perry, resulting in impact. Barton was cited for failure to yield to oncoming traffic.

SUV Collides with Tractor

Jerimiah Dewitt, 25, Rome, driving a 2005 Subaru Forester, hit Russell Very, 37, Montrose, who was operating a tractor on State Route 3029, Bridgewater Township.

No one was charged. Dewitt had minor injuries but was not taken for treatment. The incident occurred on March 12 at 7:20 p.m.

No Injuries in Crash

Robert A. Harris, 84, Montrose, was going south on Township Route 583, Bridgewater Township, and attempting to turn left into a driveway on March 8. Jacob M. Smith, 18, Little Meadows, was traveling north. Smith tried to stop as Harris crossed his path, report state police, but could not avoid a collision.

Harris was cited, and there were no injuries in the accident.

Vehicle Damaged in Walmart Lot

A vehicle belonging to a 24-year-old Dalton woman was damaged in Tunkhannock Monday between 5:15 and 5:25 p.m. Police, who are not naming the owner of the vehicle or giving a description of it, said that the vehicle was unsecured and that the perpetrators damaged the dashboard and the steering column. The incident is under investigation.

Crash in Noxen

On March 1 at 8:10 a.m., two vehicles were involved in a crash along Route 29 near the intersection of SR 2039. Police say Amber Nociasta, 22, Noxen, pulled out in front of Marilyn Neifert, 73, Sweet Valley. Nociasta was not wearing a seat belt and suffered minor injuries. She was driving a 2006 Jeep Liberty. Neifert was wearing a seat belt and suffered moderate injuries. She was driving a 2009 Honda Accord.

Driver Crashes, Rolls and Runs

Police say George Mikelaitis, 30, Lake Winola, was driving a 2002 Hyundai Accent south on Route 11 on March 12 at 6:43 p.m. when he lost control of the car on a curve and left the roadway. The vehicle rolled onto its roof and Mikelaitis fled the scene. He will likely be charged with DUI, fleeing the scene of an accident and other offenses.

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