Thursday, February 27, 2014

Police briefs from the tri-county area: Feb. 26, 2014

Man found in basement after escape attempt
PHOENIXVILLE — Police arrested one man after he was found hiding in the basement of a house on Feb. 18.
Jordan Harrell-Fulmore, 22, of Phoenixville, was seen by police at the corner of Marshall and St. Mary’s streets talking to the driver of a white pickup truck.
According to police, and confirmed by court documents, Harrell-Fulmore — aka “Breeze” — had several active warrants for his arrest.
The officer attempted to speak with Harrell-Fulmore but he took off running west on St. Mary’s Street and through the yard of a house in the 300 block, police said.
After the officer lost sight of Harrell-Fulmore, several more officers arrived and a search began, police said.
Officers followed tracks left in the snow until they stopped at the back door of a house in the 200 block of Marshall Street.
The suspects mother answered the door and let officers into the house, police said.
According to police, Harrell-Fulmore was found in the basement and arrested without further incident.
He was charged with escape and avoiding arrest on top of several felony drug charges from previous incidents.
Harrell-Fulmore was arraigned by District Judge Theodore P. Michaels on Feb. 18 and is confined to the Chester County Prison in lieu of $10,000.
He is expected in court again on March 5 at 10 a.m.

Homeless man charged with burglary 
EAST COVENTRY — Police charged one man with burglary and criminal trespass after he attempted to steal jewelry from a house on Feb. 21.
According to police, Brian Ceschan, 36, was caught by the owners of the house in the 2400 block of East Cedarville Road as he was trying to leave with almost $300 worth of jewelry.
Around noon on Feb. 21, the homeowners left to help a friend move. When they returned approximately 30 minutes later, they saw a silver car parked in the driveway.
The victim left the house unlocked, police said.
When the victim confronted Ceschan in a bedroom and went to search the car parked outside, police said.
During the search, police said, the victim found a black bag full of jewelry.
According to police, the victim knew Ceschan because they went to school together. The victim took the bag full of jewelry back then took pictures of Ceschan and the car, police said.
The victim gave police the photographs, and two days later Ceschans car was seen at the Wawa Gas Station on Schuylkill Road in Spring City by a borough officer, police said.
When officers from Spring City and East Vincent stopped Ceschan he was wearing the same clothes from the two-day-old pictures, police said.
Ceschan was arraigned by District Judge James V. DeAngelo on Feb. 24. He is confined to the Chester County Prison in lieu of $10,000 bail. His next appearance in court is scheduled for March 6 at 9 a.m.

Pottstown man charged with endangering a child
POTTSTOWN — One man is out on bail while he waits for his preliminary hearing after being charged with multiple misdemeanors on Feb. 15.
According to police, Mario Jackson, 24, of Pottstown, was arrested on Feb. 15 after officers arrived at an apartment in the 200 block of King Street around 9:15 p.m.
Jackson was in the apartment watching a two-year-old girl and a six-month-old boy, police said. When the guardian of the children arrived to drop off formula, she allegedly smelled marijuana in the apartment, police said.
The woman, who provided responding officers with proper paperwork of her guardianship, called police to assist in picking up the children.
When officers arrived, they found Jackson and his friends playing video games while the children were unattended, police said.
Officers also reported smelling marijuana in the apartment.
During an investigation of the apartment, police found part of a smoked marijuana cigarette on the coffee table in front of Jackson, police said.
Police said, “it was evident Jackson had ingested the controlled substance in the presence of his two children.”
Jackson faces two misdemeanor counts of child endangerment, according to court documents. He was arraigned by District Judge Edward C. Kropp Sr. Jackson posted his $10,000 bail on Feb. 16.
He is expected in court again on Feb. 27 at 11 a.m.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

North Coventry woman charged with theft from Ryerss Farm

By Caroline Sweeney 

SOUTH COVENTRY — A woman who is waiting for her trial to begin in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas was arrested and charged after investigators uncovered an alleged theft of almost $45,000 from Ryerss Farm for Aged Equines.
On Feb. 22, Sarah Barnshaw, 31, of North Coventry, was charged with multiple felonies including receiving stolen property and theft by unlawful taking, according to court documents.
For almost two years, investigators from the Pennsylvania State Police at Embreeville followed discrepancies in accounting paperwork during Barnshaws employment between 2010 and Feb. 2, 2012, police said.
In a statement to police on April 18, 2012, Gail Morris, secretary for the board of directors, said Barnshaw was in charge of finances for the farm but she was fired for, “a considerable decline in work performance with respect to paying bills of the organization in an appropriate time frame.”
Morris told police that after looking at the financial records she found several “questionable” credit card accounts with very high balances while other accounts showed very low balances.
It was that discovery that launched the investigation, police said.
After several search warrants were approved to look at accounts in National Penn Bank, TD Bank, the Staples Corporation and Citi-Bank, police discovered Barnshaw allegedly took $44,940.36 during her tenure at the farm.
Police said Barnshaw used the accounts to give herself cash, pay bills, pay rent, send money to a former roommate, open credit cards, buy gift cards to restaurants and department stores, and purchase electronics.
Police named Jared Harrison, of Limerick, as a co-defendant. Harrison allegedly received 18 checks from Barnshaw for a total of $11,177.
On June 20, 2012, while Barnshaw was working at the farm, she was charged with 43 felonies including identity theft, forgery, and theft by unlawful taking.
After her preliminary hearing in front of District Judge Edward C. Kropp Sr., on Aug. 2, 2012, half the charges against her were dropped.
According to court paperwork, the trial for those charges is scheduled to begin in the Spring in Norristown.
The board of directors for Ryerss Farm is meeting Thursday at 8:30 a.m. to discuss the charges, according to board president Samuel Griffin. Griffin said he could not comment about the investigation.

Desri Rome arrested again after alleged assault

By Caroline Sweeney 

POTTSTOWN — A man who is waiting for his trial to start in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas was arrested again after an alleged assault, according to police.
Desri J. Rome, 37, of Pottstown, was charged with simple assault and harassment after officers responded to an apartment in the 100 block of North Charlotte Street around 1:35 a.m. on Feb. 19.
According to court paperwork, the victim told police Rome climbed through her bedroom window and allegedly assaulted her. Police said Rome was yelling at the victim before he allegedly slapped her across the face. The victim also told police Rome grabbed her by the back of the neck and threw her into the bathroom where she hit the back of her neck on the toilet.
However, Rome told police the victim gave him permission to come into the apartment.
In his statement to police, Rome said there was another man in the apartment at the time and he only pushed the victim, “when she was grabbing onto (Rome) so the other male could leave the apartment.”
This is the second time Rome has been charged with assault in less than 10 months.
On June 27, 2013, Rome was arrested after a planned fight broke out near the Ricketts Center between two juvenile girls on June 25.
When a video of the fight surfaced on Facebook, police said, Rome could be seen grabbing a 14-year-old spectator by the neck and slamming her head against the trunk of a sliver Infiniti.
Police said the victim and other women could be heard on the video screaming at Rome to stop hurting the teenager.
Rome was charged with one felony count of aggravated assault, one misdemeanor count of simple assault, and other related charges after the June 25 incident.
He posted $50,000 bail on June 29, according to court paperwork, and his trial for those charges is set to begin this Spring.
The alleged incident between Rome and the teenage victim caused a second arrest after what police believe to be an act of retaliation.
Several hours after the fight - demeaned “The Pottstown Royal Rumble” by spectators - Pottstown Police officers responded to a shots fired call at Beech and North Washington streets. When they arrived, officers found a silver Infiniti that matched the one seen in the video.
Police said the car was severely damaged after someone fired shots at the windshield.
Jarrod Jones Jr., 23, of Stowe, was charged with aggravated assault and possession of a prohibited firearm as a result of the incident. His trail in Norristown is also scheduled to start this Spring.  
For his most recent alleged offenses, Rome was arraigned by District Judge Edward C. Kropp Sr. on Feb. 19. Rome was given an unsecured bail of $10,000 and is expected in district court again on Feb. 27 at 8:30 a.m.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Police briefs from the tri-county area

CHARLESTOWN — A Pottstown woman suffered minor injuries after an Oct. 26, 2013, crash, police said. Lorraine B. Clark, 75, crashed her Toyota Corolla on State Road near Route 29 and Hollow Road, police said.
According to police, Clark lost control of her car for an unknown reason and went off the road. While she was trying to drive back onto Route 29, she lost control for a second time and her car traveled sideways across both the northbound and southbound lanes. Her car hit a guard rail on the west side of the highway, flipped and hit a tree, which then fell on top of the car.
Then a second tree fell on top of the first tree, police said.
Clark was treated for her minor injuries and given a traffic citation, police said.

Theft from Redner’s Market
LOWER POTTSGROVE — Police charged one person after officers were called to the Redner’s Market in the 1300 block of North Charlotte Street on Friday at 1:18 p.m. Amita Paul, 35, of Pottstown, allegedly stole several items from the supermarket but police did not specify exactly what was taken. According to police, Paul was cited for theft and released.

Teen drives car through lawn of religious building
LOWER FREDERICK — Police charged a 17-year-old Trappe boy with trespass by motor vehicle after he drove his car across the lawn of a building on several occasions. According to police, the teen drove a blue 2007 Chevrolet pickup truck through the lawn of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses more than once between June 18 and Dec. 17 of 2013. Police said the incidents occurred on June 18, Nov. 23, Dec. 2, and Dec. 17.
Anyone who has experienced or seen similar incidents involving the blue truck should call police at 610-287-4434.

Drugs found during traffic stop
WARWICK — An Elverson man was charged with drug possession after police stopped his car on Jan. 4 around 6:10 p.m.
Richard Alexander Menkins, 20, was found with marijuana, and what police are classifying as “several items of drug paraphernalia.”
Officers stopped his car on St. Peter’s Road near School Road, police said.
Charges were filed in Chester County court.

One injured after crash
HONEY BROOK — One woman suffered minor injuries after her Dodge Caravan crashed on Suplee Road near Pleasant View Road on Jan. 3 around 2:15 p.m. Maria A. Hillworth, 32, of Honey Brook, lost control of her car before it slid across the opposite lane of travel and hit a ditch, police said.
She was not wearing her seat belt, according to police.
Hillworth was charged with not driving at a safe speed for road conditions.

Birdsboro woman injured in crash
WARWICK — One woman was injured after her car hit ice and she lost control on Jan. 7 around 12:13 p.m., police said. According to police, Sarah M. Pollock, 21, of Birdsboro, was driving north on Route 345 when her car hit ice and started sliding and spinning down the hill near Pine Swamp Road. The 2007 Saturn Aura stopped facing south in the shoulder of the southbound lanes, police said.
Pollock had minor injuries to her hip and was transported by ambulance to Reading Hospital, police said.
She was wearing her seat belt.

Two vehicle crash injures one
CHARLESTOWN — One person was injured after two SUVs crashed on Route 29 near State Road on Jan. 12, police said.
Craig Weiner, 40, of Phoenixville, was northbound on Route 29 near Pickering Dam Road when his 2008 Toyota Rav-4 went off the side of the road and hit an embankment.
The Toyota then spun back into traffic and hit a 2000 Jeep Cherokee driven by 44-year-old Brew Bens, of Paoli.
Police said both cars came to a stop in the southbound lanes of the highway.
Weiner was not wearing a seat belt but Bens was, according to police. Weiner suffered injuries that were treated by medical personnel.
Weiner was charged with not driving at a safe speed for road conditions.

Pottstown man charged after allegedly hunting while drinking

By Caroline Sweeney
LIMERICK — A joint investigation by township police and the Pennsylvania Game Commission lead to the arrest of a hunter allegedly drinking and hunting in December of last year.
According to township police, officers responded to the area of Steinmetz Road and Mill Road after a resident in the 100 block called to report an act of vandalism.
When police arrived, they spoke with the victim who showed them deep grooves in his front lawn near the road.
The victim told officers he followed the tracks and found a white Ford truck at the corner of Steinmetz Road and Mill Road, police said.
During an investigation, officers found two empty gun cases in the bed of truck and a hunting tree stand, police said. The victim told police a neighbor saw several people leave the truck and enter the woods without wearing proper hunting gear. The neighbor also told the victim one of the men smelled like alcohol, police said.
When officers spoke with the neighbor, he confirmed one of them smelled like alcohol and he was not wearing the proper amount of the orange safety color required for hunting.
Police said three men exited the woods without any hunting clothes on or any guns.
When officers spoke to the men, they found out the truck belonged to Michael Fallon, 22, of Pottstown. In their report, police noted Fallon smelled like alcohol.
While speaking the Fallon and the other hunters, officers discovered two of the men left shotguns at the barn where they were hunting.
Township police called the state game commission and officers showed up to handle the hunting violations. Three shotguns, a .380 caliber handgun, and a camouflage hunting vest were brought back from the barn, police said. According to police, all guns and hunters were accounted for except for Fallon, who told police he was not hunting and he did not have a gun.
However, when officers went to speak with the witness again, they discovered Fallon had a gun with him earlier in the day. Court records show Fallon pleaded guilty to a felony assault charge in 2010 which prevents him from owning a gun.
Fallon was charged with one felony count of carrying a prohibited firearm and one misdemeanor count of violate rules and regulations of the hunting commission.
He posted 10 percent of his $5,000 bail on Feb. 18. Fallon is expected at the Montgomery County Courthouse on April 9 at 9:30 a.m.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

North Coventry Police search for burglary suspect, missing gun

By Caroline Sweeney

NORTH COVENTRY — Police are investigating a residential burglary after the homeowner reported a gun missing on Feb. 10.
Township police said, officers arrived at the house in the 2300 block of St. Peters Road around 1:50 p.m. after the homeowner said the master bedroom “had been rummaged through” and a Smith and Wesson .357 caliber revolver was taken from a bedroom closet.
There were no visible signs of forced entry into the house, police said, but a neighbor told responding officers they saw a man at the house around 10:30 a.m. the same day.
The neighbor told police the man, “looked like a hillbilly that was unshaven with rotten teeth.” Police said the white man who has a medium build was wearing a tan canvas-style barn jacket with a knit or wool hat.
The suspect was driving what investigators believe to be a gray Toyota Corolla four-door sedan with an awareness ribbon magnet on the back.
Chester County Detectives used information provided to create a composite sketch. North Coventry police encourage anyone who has had a similar incident or has seen the car to contact Officer Barton or Detective Prouty at 610-323-8360.

Composite drawing by Chester County Detectives 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Lower Frederick Police seek suspects after shooting incident

By Caroline Sweeney 

LOWER FREDERICK — Police are looking for one or more suspects that allegedly fired shots near a group of men working on a generator on Feb. 6 around 4 p.m.
Four men were working in the first block of Meng Road when the owner of a home called local police to report a bullet may have gone through his window.
According to police, the men were working outside when they heard a loud bang quickly followed by an iron hinge hitting one of the workers.
When the men went to investigate, they found a small hole in a glass window where the hinge came from, police said.
After an investigation, officers determined the hole was consistent with the size and shape of a small caliber bullet, police said.
The victims told officers they saw a maroon sedan driving east on Meng Road around the time of the incident.
Anyone with information should call police at 610-287-4434.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

1 charged in Pottstown shooting; details of melee released

POTTSTOWN — Police confirmed charges Tuesday against a man suspected in Sunday’s early-morning shooting incident as court documents revealed details in the subsequent melee.
Theodore Cosiouse Arnold, 31, of Pottstown, was charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder as well as six felony counts of aggravated assault, six misdemeanor counts of simple assault, and other misdemeanor offenses including making terroristic threats, possessing an instrument of crime and recklessly endangering another person.
Paperwork indicates the charges were filed Sunday, but Pottstown Police Capt. Robert Thomas said Arnold was not in police custody as of yet.
Arnold was arrested in October 2012 in Pottstown for misdemeanor assault charges but those were dismissed less than a month later, a court docket indicated.
An investigation is ongoing into Sunday’s shooting that left Brandon Germany in Reading Hospital and Medical Center in serious condition Sunday. An update on his condition was not available Tuesday.
Police reports indicated that Germany was injured in the shooting early Sunday morning outside the Montgomery Elks Lodge at 609 Walnut St.
Court documents obtained by The Mercury Tuesday said Pottstown Police Officer Brandon Unruh responded first to the scene, assessed Germany’s injuries and began providing first aid for “at least one gunshot wound.”
While doing so, “a crowd began to gather,” an affidavit of probable cause filed by Pottstown police said. Initial police reports said the crowd came from inside the Elks Lodge.
Pottstown Police Officer Matt Green responded next and began trying “to disperse the rowdy crowd that began growing in numbers and were closing in on the victim and Officer Unruh.”
“Chad(d) Watson was in the crowd and refused to disperse when Officer Green gave him verbal orders to do so. Officer Green had to push Watson back in order to protect himself, the victim, Officer Unruh and the integrity of the crime scene,” according to the affidavit. “Watson refused, once again, to disperse and physically attacked Officer Green by forcefully pushing him off balance and backwards. Officer Green was able to forcefully take Watson to the ground where Watson attempted to strike Officer Green.”
Green attempted to detain Watson, who allegedly was not complying and continued to “assault” Green.
“Officer Unruh saw Officer Green being attacked by Watson as well as the group quickly approaching,” the affidavit continued. “Fearing that Officer Green was going to be seriously injured, Officer Unruh left the gunshot victim and came to Officer Green’s aid.”
As Unruh ordered the crowd back, police allege that Brooklyn Aiken punched him in the left side of the head and then continued to hit him multiple times.
A witness told The Mercury Sunday that he saw one officer punched in the head as he attempted to detain someone.
“Officer Unruh was able to grab hold of Aiken in an attempt to restrain him and prevent Aiken from harming him further. Aiken continued to assault and resist Officer Unruh,” according to the affidavit. “Several other members of the crowd converged on Officer Unruh and began assaulting him. Officer Unruh sustained several strikes and trauma to the head and torso region.”
Around that time, a call went out for assistance to other Pottstown Police units as well as other police officers throughout the county.
Sgt. Brian Rathgeb of the Pottstown Police was the first assisting officer to respond and aided Green first.
Police sprayed Watson with pepper spray, but he still allegedly had to have his hands forced behind his back to be cuffed.
Aiken, in the meantime, was taken into custody by Unruh, Officer Jeffrey Portock and other responding officers.
The initial release from the Pottstown Police mentioned a bystander assisting officers but the details of that are unclear and there is no specific mention of that person in the affidavit.
“The actions of Watson and Aiken fueled the already rowdy crowd, creating a chaotic scene,” the affidavit said. “Watson and Aiken’s actions were the catalyst to this riot. Watson and Aiken made an already extremely dangerous situation worse and prevented the (shooting) victim from getting medical assistance.”
Thomas said Sunday that he had “no idea” why Watson and Aiken were allegedly so aggressive.
Unruh suffered injuries to his head, including a concussion, according to the affidavit, and other upper body injures. Green also suffered “serious” upper body injuries.
Both were taken to Pottstown Memorial Medical Center for treatment and Pottstown Mayor Sharon Thomas confirmed Monday that both were “rehabbing well.”
Watson and Aiken were arraigned Sunday before District Judge Edward C. Kropp Sr. on multiple felony aggravated assault charges, felony riot by preventing an official’s actions, two different misdemeanor simple assault charges, misdemeanor terroristic threats, summary criminal mischief and multiple disorderly conduct and harassment charges.
Their bail was set at $250,000 cash, which neither posted, so they were sent to Montgomery County Correctional Facility.
Court documents showed Watson was previously arrested in 2010 on disorderly conduct charges in Pottstown for fighting and also for possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia — for which he plead guilty to the paraphernalia charge — and again later that year in Lower Providence for breaking into a woman’s house.
He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery through threatening and received a 1½ to 3 year prison sentence, according to court documents.
Aiken has been arrested twice, once earlier this year and once last year, on assault charges that were eventually dismissed, court documents showed.
It is unclear if more will be charged in connection with Sunday’s alleged assaults.
Mayor Sharon Thomas hinted Monday that a plan may be put into place to have “intervention(s)” with “nuisance properties” once the shooting investigation tied to the Montgomery Elks Club is wrapped up.