Franklin resident speaks out against police department
A Franklin Township man has expressed his frustration to township officials over an incident in which he said he was wrongfully charged and jailed.
Bart Cannariato, who lives on Hemlock Trail, told supervisors recently that people are gathering at a vacation rental near his home and playing loud music.
“Is there an occupancy total for a home?” Cannariato asked. “I’ve been dealing with this for four years.”
Cannariato said he was charged by township police on Sept. 2 after he called police over a situation “and it was turned around on me.”
He said he’s called police on the people four times, and on this particular day discharged his weapon on his property.
“I was arrested at gunpoint and taken into my home,” Cannariato said. “I was incarcerated for it.”
Cannariato said the home is still being rented, adding, “I’m a prisoner in my own home.”
Ellen Dietrich, who has lived on Hemlock Trail for 45 years, said she’s never complained to the township.
“This is not fair; that is a hotel,” Dietrich said. “We shouldn’t have to put up with this.”
Cannariato said the property at the center of the controversy has a pool that he referred to as a “party area.”
“Unfortunately, I can’t call the police department because they’re not doing their job,” he said. “It’s scary for my family.”
Supervisor Robin Cressley suggested that the board connect with the township’s code officer, Paul Jarrett, to see if anything can be done.
Cannariato said he’s been told he’s going to get cited for calling the Carbon County 911 Communications Center on multiple occasions.
“I was taken out by gunpoint, arrested,” he said. “The people called police and said I was firing at them.”
Cannariato asked why the rental property can’t be shut down.
“It’s very unfortunate,” he said. “It’s just total unprofessionalism on every level.”
Cannariato said the situation is “progressively getting worse and worse.”
“My wife and I are at the point we’re ready to sell our home,” he said. “My property value’s going to go down.”
According to court records, At 7:14 p.m. Sept. 2, police were called to Hemlock Trail for a report of shots being fired at a residence from the adjacent property where Cannariato lives.
Police requested assistance from Lehighton and Mahoning police departments, and the Pennsylvania State Police.
The complainants told officer Christopher Lekka that he and three other people were standing out back of the residence near the pool area and saw a man wearing a black tank top and cargo shorts, pointing a black handgun at them.
The man, identified as Cannariato, fired about six shots in the direction of where they were standing, with an estimated distance of about 10 yards.
Police approached Cannariato’s residence. Lekka had Carbon 911 call Cannariato to ask him to step outside of his residence with his hands above his head.
Cannariato told police, “I shot my gun earlier but, it was at the ground.”
Lekka told Cannariato that they would discuss the incident further at the police station, to which he replied, “I have a heart condition and I need an ambulance here now.”
Cannariato smelled of an alcoholic beverage and his speech was slurred, Lekka said.
Cannariato was transported to St. Luke’s Gnaden Huetten Campus, where he was evaluated by medical staff and released and transported back to the Franklin police station.
A black Glock .40 handgun was recovered from the scene by members of the Pennsylvania State Police.
The handgun smelled as if it had been recently fired.
Cannariato faced four counts of recklessly endangering another person.
He had a preliminary hearing earlier this month before District Judge William Kissner of Palmerton, at which time three of the counts were dismissed. The other count was bound over to trial.