Vehicle incident leads to charges against Hazleton man
Jeronto Bryan Jr., 32, of 633 W. Diamond Ave., Hazleton, faces charges from an incident which took place at 1:22 a.m. July 17, in Lansford. Charges of escape, accidents involving damage to unattended vehicle or property, careless driving, duties at stop signs, limitations on backing, and one-way roadways and rotary traffic islands were filed by Officer Jason A. Helmer.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, here's what happened:
Helmer was on duty and investigating a car alarm in the area of East Kline Avenue and Walnut Street. The vehicle, a white Jeep Grand Cherokee, was observed accelerating at high speed in reverse on Walnut Street. Walnut Street is a one-way street in that area.
The Cherokee locked its brakes and struck a parked car in front of 40 S. Walnut St., visibly damaging the parked car. The driver of the Cherokee was identified by his license as Bryan.
While speaking with Bryan, a juvenile, identified by the initials TRC continued to use his cell phone despite several warnings from Helmer to stop due to officer safety reasons.
The male juvenile was taken out of the vehicle to be arrested for curfew violations, at which time Bryan was clearly advised to remain in the vehicle and await further instructions.
While attempting to arrest TRC, he pulled away and fled. At the same time, Bryan sped away in the Jeep at a high rate of speed, spinning the wheels and going through a stop sign at walnut and East Bertsch streets.
It was then learned from witnesses that TRC was attempting to break into a residence on East Kline Avenue, and had been observed prowling around the residence just before the Jeep struck the parked vehicle.
The Jeep was later found by Summit Hill police, unattended along East White Street in Summit Hill.
Based upon information received, Bryan was known to stay in Lansford, Hazleton and New York City, and to date, police have not been able to contact him for an interview or written statement.
The juvenile's parents were notified and reported the boy has been defiant and that they did not know where he was.
The boy's mother said he was seldom home, but that she would try to bring him to the Lansford police station to be interviewed. Attempts to interview the boy, in his parents' presence, were unsuccessful.