Violence doesn't take a holiday
While Memorial Day is an opportunity to honor our nation's fallen military heroes, it is also a time of fun and fellowship, a time for family get-togethers. But, as evidenced by the number of calls Magesterial District Judge Stephen Bayer, Tamaqua, had over this Memorial Day weekend, some families should apparently spend less time together.
Judge Bayer spent the bulk of his weekend in his courtroom, handling more than 15 criminal cases, including five that involved aggravated assault and four domestic abuse cases.
The most serious involved a case from Pottsville, which started with a fire, then transitioned into an Amber Alert on Saturday morning.
Pottsville police and fire personnel responded to 305 Howard Ave. at 5:43 a.m. A large amount of smoke was pouring from the structure and officers observed Barbara Hummel, who was bleeding from her head as well as other parts of her body. She was transported to Schuylkill Medical Center South and later airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital.
As officers tried to determine what had happened, they were told a 17 year old female was missing, possibly abducted by Stephen Shawn Campion Jr., 20, also of 305 Howard Ave. Police issued an Amber Alert.
When Hummel was able to speak with police, she told officers she had been asleep on a couch and was woken by Campion, who struck her multiple times with a machete. One of the injuries split open her head. Campion allegedly told her she, and everyone else in the home, were "going to die." During the attack, according to the victim, Campion proceeded to pour lighter fluid on her and the machete, then lit the machete on fire. He swung the flaming machete at her, setting the couch on fire. Campion then threw a chair on the burning couch. He then fled the scene with the teen.
Campion was apprehended a short time later and charged with felony counts of criminal attempted homicide, aggravated assault, arson - endangering other persons, causing/risking a catastrophe, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, arson- endangering property and criminal mischief, as well as misdemeanor counts of making terroristic threats, reckless endangerment and simple assault. He reportedly told police he had been using drugs at the time of the incident.
Bayer set bail at $250,000 straight cash.
The other assault cases included:
Bryan Keith Shistle, 48, of 441 Prospect St., Pottsville, was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment, criminal trespass, loitering and prowling at night and harassment. Shistle allegedly went to the home of his estranged wife at 11:22 p.m. on Saturday, forced his way inside and pointed a loaded gun at her head. His bail was set at $100,000 straight cash.
William Corcino, 53, of 364 Valley St., New Philadelphia, was at a home in Schuylkill Haven at 8:27 p.m. on Sunday, when he allegedly became involved in a physical altercation with his wife. When a friend tried to intervene, Corcino allegedly turned on him, and another man. When officers conducted a pat down search, they found a small knife, a pipe with possible marijuana residue and a small bag of green vegetable matter. He was charged with simple assault, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana and harassment.
Bail was set at $25,000 straight cash.
Daniel Troy Langtry, 24, of 69 Spring St., Tremont, was just trying to enjoy his holiday weekend with some music and a cigarette, at 11:16 p.m. on Friday, when his neighbor asked him to turn down the volume on the music. Langtry admittedly wasn't in the mood to listen to said neighbor, so, when the man touched his arm to get his attention, he turned around and punched the man in the face. The victim sustained a fracture to the right side of his jaw, displacing the bone to the point where the man's jaw had to be wired shut. Langtry was charged with aggravated assault and simple assault.
He is currently on the run and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Johnathan Cameron, 22, of 27 Center St., Tamaqua, was charged with aggravated indecent assault without consent and indecent assault without consent. The incident reportedly took place at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, in his residence. The victim told police she had been dancing when Cameron grabbed her, pulled her on to the couch and inserted his fingers in her vagina, despite her repeated attempts to get up and telling him no. The victim's brother heard her cries and entered the room, causing Cameron to stop his actions.
His bail was set at $25,000 straight cash.
Each of the assailants either spent the rest of their holiday in the Schuylkill County Prison or on the lam.