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Arrest made in Lehighton incident involving shooting

  • Joseph Pellegrino
    Joseph Pellegrino
Published October 05. 2012 05:03PM

A Kunkletown man is locked up in the Carbon County Correctional Facility after allegedly trying to shoot another individual in Lehighton early Thursday morning.

The intended victim was spared, police say, after the weapon initially misfired. The incident apparently involved a bad debt, according to court papers.

Joseph Pellegrino, 42, of Koch Road, is being held on $500,000 straight bail after being arraigned before District Judge Edward M. Lewis of Jim Thorpe.

He has been charged by borough police with criminal attempt at criminal homicide, aggravated assault, possession of firearm prohibited, firearms not to be carried without a license, two counts of simple assault, and recklessly endangering another person.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled before Lewis on Oct. 10.

The arresting officer is Detective Scott S. Prebosnyak of the Lehighton Police Department.

The shooting incident happened at about 1:15 a.m. at 207 N. First St., which is in the downtown business district.

In the affidavit filed by Prebosnyak, it wasn't Pellegrino, but a friend of his, who was owed money by the intended victim.

The target of Pellegrino's alleged agression was Michael Taschler, no address listed.

Police were dispatched at 1:15 to the First Street address and arrived within two minutes of the dispatch. Taschler told police that Pellegrino "shot at him several times at close range."

Pellegrino reportedly was staying with two other individuals, Alyssa Neff and Edward Hendershot Jr., at a First Street apartment. The affidavit states that Taschler owed Hendershot money.

Pellegrino is quoted as stating to Taschler, "You have something for my boy," referring to the money he owed Hendershot.

When Taschler replied he wasn't repaying the money, Pellegrino allegedly pulled out the revolver, pointed it at Taschler, and pulled the trigger.

The affidavit says, "The weapon misfired at this time which gave Taschler time to duck and run. This exchange was less than 10 feet from the victim. The defendant then began emptying his shells due to the misfire and then hand loaded new shells. He then fired at least two more shots at the victim as he was fleeing."

Taschler escaped by running into Hendershot's apartment, the affidavit notes.

Detective Prebosnyak states that his investigation reveals Pellegrino "has a lengthy criminal history in several states" which would preclude him from carrying a concealed weapon.

The gun which Pellegrino was carrying was last owned by an individual who is now deceased, says the affidavit.

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