Bath salts blamed for incident involving buglary, violence
A Mahoning Township man has been arrested and faces numerous charges following an alleged burglary and violent incident Sunday afternoon.
The suspect reportedly was under the influence of bath salts.
Zachary William Hoffman, 23, of the 700 block of North First St., Lehighton, was placed in Carbon County Prison after being arraigned before District Judge Casimir Kosciolek of Lansford. Kosciolek listed bail at $5,000.
At one point, police said Hoffman tossed a wrench set in their direction which went through the window of a residence.
Chief of Police Kenneth Barnes of Mahoning Township said officers were dispatched at 5:49 p.m. Sunday to a residence in the 800 block of Grist Mill Road for a burglary in progress.
Police were advised the suspect was still inside the home.
Barnes said the responding police officer arrived and observed Hoffman inside of the home sitting near a window and swinging a tennis racket.
Allegedly Hoffman refused to obey verbal commands of the officer. Back up was requested and units from Lehighton Borough, Franklin Township, and Summit Hill Borough responded.
Barnes said that while waiting for the back up officers to arrive, the Mahoning officer kept ordering Hoffman to cease his actions. Hoffman allegedly still refused to obey the verbal commands of the officer and then threw a yellow socket set towards a glass window, which went through the glass and nearly struck the officer in his pelvic area.
When back up units arrived, officers entered the residence. Hoffman still refused to obey verbal commands and force was deployed to effect an arrest.
Hoffman reportedly caused major damage to the interior of the home and had also caused major damage to other buildings on the property.
The defendant was yelling that he was looking for water because he felt his body was on fire. Police said he was found to be in possession of "bath salts" and was under the influence of them.
Hoffman was charged with burglary, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, aggravated assault and resisting arrest.
Police said the dollar amount of damage or pecuniary loss is unknown at this time.
The matter is still under investigation.
Chief Barnes said this morning that it appears Hoffman acted alone in the alleged burglary.