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Lansford man in prison after police threatened

  • John Urso
    John Urso
Published July 24. 2012 04:35PM

A Lansford man who threatened and spat on police on Sunday remains in Carbon County prison today under $75,000 bail.

John Urso, 33, of 723 E. Patterson St., is charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats, simple assault, institutional vandalism, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and unreasonable noise, and two counts of harassment.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by borough police Officer Brian Horos, here's what happened:

Horos was dispatched on a report of a man chasing a woman down the street, screaming at her, in the area of 723 E. Patterson St. Small children were involved.

Horos knocked on the door, a man opened it, screamed an obscenity at him and slammed the door in his face. The man then peered through the blinds at Horos and continued to scream obscenities.

Because the man appeared to be under the influence of some kind of drug, and was out of control, Horos called for assistance. Summit Hill Officer Lori Leinhard arrived, and Horos briefed her on the situation, and spoke of his concern that a female was possibly in the home, in danger of assault or already hurt. Leinhard went around the side of the house to a window, to listen for sounds of a woman being hurt. She told Horos she heard a woman in the home.

Horos knocked on the door again, and could hear a man inside, yelling. He continued to knock.

The door was flung open by Urso, who began screaming at both officers. Horos told him to tell him what was going on, and that police would try to help him.

Police entered the living room, and as Horos was talking to Urso, trying to calm him down, Urso charged at him, screaming.

Urso pushed up against Horos and cocked back his arm as if to punch the officer, screaming all the while, his spit flying onto Horos' face.

The officers pleaded with Urso to calm down. There was a little girl in the house, so Horos asked Urso to come out onto the sidewalk to talk.

Urso bolted out of the house, and officers followed. Horos again tried to talk with Urso, but Urso again butted the officer with his chest, continuing to spit on him. Urso was screaming so loudly almost all of the neighbors came outside to see what was going on.

Horos told him he was under arrest, and Urso again chest-butted the officer and cocked back his fist as though to punch the officers. Horos grabbed Urso's left arm and took him down. Urso continued to thrash and scream that he was going to severely injure the officers.

Both officers held him down as they struggled to cuff the thrashing, screaming man.

They sat him down on the front porch, and because Urso was still out of control despite the handcuffs, Horos called for more backup. More police arrived, and Horos asked them to place Urso in the back of his cruiser so that he and Leinhard could go into the house to make sure the other residents were not hurt. When they entered, they encountered the little girl, who was visibly upset and crying.

They calmed her down and talked with her, asking what had happened. She told that her mother and Urso had had a fight, and that her mother had left.

The officers got the mother's cell phone number and called the mother, a Ms. Sotomayor, who told them that she had left because of Urso's actions.

Meanwhile, Urso, in the back of the police cruiser, had gotten his cuffed hands from behind his back and now had them in front of him. He was thrashing around, and for his own safety, was taken out and placed on the ground. He calmed down and was helped back into the cruiser.

Horos told everyone police were clearing the scene because Urso was causing a commotion, and the neighbors did not need to see it. Officer Leinhard said she would go to Sotomayor's house and pick her up and bring her to the police station so she could tell police what had happened.

Horos got into his cruiser to drive Urso to the police station. As he was turning the cruiser around, Urso, still thrashing around, smashed his head into the partition, causing a large gash on his forehead. He began to violently swing his head back and forth, flinging droplets of blood around.

Horos asked him why he did that, and Urso responded with an obscenity and said "you did this to me." Horos called the Carbon County Communications Center to ask that emergency medical services be called to the police station to provide aid to Urso.

Upon arriving at the police station, Urso told Horos police were going to have to force him out of the cruiser. Coaldale Officer Charles Blesse arrived, and Horos opened the cruiser door. Urso jumped out. Police took him into the station and he was able to sit in the holding chair. Urso began screaming obscenities at police and spitting on the floor and walls. Emergency medical services arrived, but Urso screamed that he didn't want help and told them to off. They asked him to sign a refusal form, and he repeated the obscenity.

Horos asked the emergency service to take a look at him, as he had a large bump on his right knee. EMS examined Horos and advised him to go to the hospital to be examined and treated.

But Horos went back inside the police station because Sotomayor had arrived, and Urso was screaming obscenities at her, calling her names and ethnic slurs, and vowing to "destroy" her.

Sotomayor was visibly upset and extremely scared.

Horos asked her what had happened. She told him that she had taken her children to the Dollar store to buy them things, and that Urso had come to the store and began to verbally assault her to the degree that a store employee told him to leave.

Urso, she said, "got in her face" and threatened her.

Horos obtained a written statement from Sotomayor, and when she was leaving the station, Urso again threatened her and screamed obscenities at her.

Horos asked for restitution for his torn uniform, and for medical bills and to sanitize the police station and the cruiser.

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