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Tamaqua area man jailed for assault

Published February 25. 2011 05:00PM

A Tamaqua area man was charged following a reported burglary at 328 Hazle St. on Tuesday.

Officers were dispatched to the home at 10:39 p.m. and found Patrick Smith, 22, of 211 S. Morris St., St. Clair, on the front porch. Smith told officers that Joseph Franz, 23, of 190 Lincoln Dr., Tamaqua R.D., had broken into the house and was assaulting resident Alicia Rae Bennett, 21.

The front door was locked and officers had to kick it in. Franz was inside, on the stairway, holding on to Bennett. Officers drew their Taser weapons and Franz released Bennett, but refused to put his hands in the air.

Patrolman Anthony Stanell deployed the Taser, striking Franz, who immediately hit the floor. After officers placed handcuffs on Franz he again became unruly and non-compliant and had to be dragged to the waiting police cruiser.

Bennett and Smith told officers that Franz had knocked on the front door but they refused him entry. Smith called 9-1-1 when they heard a window being smashed in the basement. Franz then broke the basement door to gain access to the living area and chased Smith out the front door minutes before police arrived.

Franz was video arraigned before duty District Judge James Ferrier, of Orwigsburg, on charges of burglary, criminal trespass, resisting arrest, simple assault, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief and harassment. Bail was set at $15,000 straight cash. Unable to post bond Franz was incarcerated in the Schuylkill County Prison, Pottsville.

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