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Summit Hill man faces assault, drug charges

Published April 23. 2010 05:00PM

Paul Zuzo, 40, of 102 E. White Bear Drive, Summit Hill, faces charges from an incident which took place on March 17 at 7:45 p.m. on the 100 block of W. Ridge St. Charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, resisting arrest, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possessing a prohibited offensive weapon, and harassment were filed by Officer Brian Horos. Additional charges are pending the results of the blood and toxicology tests. Zuzo was arraigned before District Judge Casimir Kosciolek and jailed under $5,000 straight cash bail.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Horos wrote that he, along borough officer Jason Helmer, answered a report of suspicious activity in the area of 127 W. Ridge St. Police were told there was a gold-colored vehicle with several occupants on the north side of the street and there seemed to be some kind of activity going on in the vehicle. Because of a rash of recent burglaries and because there were reports earlier that day of a suspicious vehicle in the business district, police responded quickly.

As they pulled up behind the vehicle, a Chrysler coupe, Horos "could see the people inside suddenly begin to move about, appearing as if these subjects were hiding something."

The affidavit states that as Horos approached the driver's side window, he smelled a strong odor of alcohol. When he looked inside, he saw a container of Coor's Lite between the driver's legs. Officer Helmer advised him to check the back seat floor area. When Horos did, he saw a plastic bag containing green vegetable matter that appeared to be marijuana. Testing later proved the substance to be the drug.

the driver, later identified as Zuzo, was asked to shut off the engine and exit the vehicle. At first, he was unable to respond or did not comprehend the request, as he just stared blankly, Horos wrote. the front seat passenger turned off rhe car engine, and then Zuzo got out. As he got out, Horos saw a metal pipe, commonly used to smoke marijuana, on the seat where Zuzo had been sitting. Zuzo was staggering, and Horos helped him to the rear of the vehicle. As the officer talked with Zuzo, he noticed a smell of alcohol from Zuzo's facial area and that his eyes were red and glassy.

Zuzo had his right hand in his right front pants pocket and it seemed as though his hand was clenched, Horos wrote. Horos asked Zuzo if he had any weapons, and Zuzo did not reply, but rather he rapidly pulled his hand from his pocket. Clenched in his hand was a red bandanna that was tied in knots and fashioned into a short rope. Attached to the end of this rope was a heavy metal padlock, creating an improvised sap or striking weapon. When Zuzo produced this weapon he quickly moved into a striking stance and began to seem as if he was going to begin attempting to inflict injury with this weapon.

Zuzo was immediately taken to the ground, where he refused to follow any verbal commands. Instead, Zuzo pulled his hands into his center and began to attempt to defeat any efforts to handcuff him. Because of this resistance, substantial force had to be used in order to secure him.

"Based on my observations of Zuzo and the various indications that he had been drinking, I requested that Zuzo submit to blood testing to determine his (blood alcohol content) or controlled substance levels," the officer wrote. " Zuzo agreed, and was taken to St. Luke's Miners Memorial Medical Center (Coaldale). The blood sample was taken at approximately 9:05 p.m.; the related charges of driving under the influence are pending the results of this testing."

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