Magisterial District Court Reports
D. U. I.

Ronald Francis Decker, 49 Lehigh St., Mountain Top, has been charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Controlled Substance-General Impairment, Driving on Right Side of Roadway and Drive on Roadways Laned For Traffic by Patrolman Kristen Paulshock, Wright Township Police Department. Charges were filed on April 8, 2015.

According to the Affidavit of Probable Cause, on Friday, March 27, 2015 at 11:40 p. m., Officer Paulshock was dispatched to a one-car motor vehicle accident at 353 S. Main Road, Mountain Top. The officer was advised by the Luzerne County Comm Center that it was a car vs. a house. When the officer arrived on the scene, she found a white 4-door Suzuki SX4 Sedan up against the house at 353 S, Main Road belonging to Ed Uravage. A white male was standing outside the rear of the vehicle smoking a cigarette. The Officer asked him if the vehicle was his. He said yes. The officer asked him if he was injured. He said no. The officer asked him to sit in her vehicle to keep warm. He sat in the front passenger seat. The officer asked him for his license, registration and insurance cards. He provided that information.

The driver was identified as the Defendant, Ronald Francis Decker, 49 Lehigh St., Mountain Top, date of birth, 11/29/1955. While speaking to the defendant, Officer Paulshock detected a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from his breath. He also had glassy eyes and slurred speech. The Defendant also seemed to have difficulty answering the officer’s questions. He had no visible injuries. He stated he was wearing his seatbelt. The driver side front airbag was deployed. The officer asked him what happened. He stated he was driving north on S. Main Road when a deer ran out from the driver side. He stated that he hit the brakes and skidded. The investigation revealed that there were no skid marks; Vehicle was traveling north on S. Main Road when it left the roadway on the east berm and traveled up a grassy embankment into the yard at 353 S. Main Road. The vehicle then traveled back onto the roadway and crossed over the southbound lane into the yard of 353 S, Main Road. The vehicle drove through the yard and struck the house. Vehicle caused visible structural damage under the window of the master bedroom on the east side of the house.

The officer asked the defendant if he had a medical condition. He said no. She asked him is he had any hearing problems. He said no. She asked him how much he had to drink. He said nothing. The officer asked him why she could smell an odor of alcoholic beverage on his breath. He said that it was his Ambesol. Officer Paulshock advised him that she wanted to transport him back to her station to have him perform a field sobriety tests on a flat, safe surface.

On March 28, 2015, Officer Paulshock advised the Defendant of his O’Connell Warnings and read PennDOT Form DL-26 to him. The officer asked him to submit to a chemical test of blood. He responded by asking the officer if there was any way he could get his glasses. Officer Paulshock told him she would get his glasses from his vehicle. The officer then asked him again to submit to a blood test, He said he was not sure. The officer advised him that he had to make a decision. The officer reminded him that he would lose his license for a minimum of one year if he refused to take the test. He stated he refused. The officer advised him that be charged with DUI and receive his paperwork in the mail. The officer asked the Defendant where he was coming from. He told the officer that he refused to answer because he did not want to incriminate himself. The Defendant was then transported to his residence and released.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled April 29 at 10 a. m. before District Magistrate Ronald Swank.

D. U. I.

Joseph Lawrence Petro, 341 S. Main Road, Mountain Top, was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Controlled Substance-General Impairment, Operating a Vehicle Without Interlock, and Careless Driving by Cprl; Dennis Monk, Fairview Township Police Department. Charges were filed on April 14, 2015.

According to the Affidavit of Probable Cause, on March 28, 2015, at 8:01 p. m. Cprl Monk was dispatched to a motor vehicle accident at Wychock’s Beverage, 75 S. Mountain Blvd. The caller stated that a vehicle had struck the building and that there was structural damage, Upon arrival, the officer observed a green Ford Escort station wagon with heavy front end damage. There was also severe damage to the entrance of Wychock’s Beverage from where the vehicle had struck it. The driver was outside of the vehicle and was identified as Jospeh Petro. Petro was bleeding from the nose, lip and chin from the accident. The officer asked what happened and he stated his brakes failed when he was pulling in, and he struck the building. The officer could smell a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on Petro’s breath, and his eyes were blood shot and glossy, He was asked if he had anything to drink tonight, and he stated he had about six 12 oz. Budweiser beers earlier. The officer asked if he had a driver’s license. Petro stated he did but that it was an ignition interlock license. He asked if the vehicle had an interlock device, and he stated it did not. The officer checked the vehicle and confirmed there was no interlock device on the vehicle.

EMS soon arrived to treat Petro’s facial injuries. While in the ambulance, the officer spoke to Paramedic Richard Rogan and Bill Frazer. They advised that Petro was refusing treatment and that they would not be transporting him to the hospital. They were bandaging a cut on his chin that did not require any further attention. The officer advised Petro that he thought he was under the influence of alcohol and requested that he submit to a blood test at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. Petro stated he would not take the test and therefore would not go with the officer to the hospital. The officer then read the PennDOT DL 26 form to Petro. He signed the form, but still refused the test. Once he was done with the EMS, the officer asked Petro to submit to some field sobriety tests. The officer advised Petro that he would explain the tests to him and not to begin until begin told to do so. The first test administered was the finger dexterity test. This test was failed due to Petro not counting out loud as instructed and for stopping before being told to do so. The next test was the heel to toe straight line walk. The test was failed by Petro due to his inability to touch his heel to toe and also for taking steps to the side to regain his balance. Petro was advised that he would be charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, and was released to his wife.

The officer asked the tow truck driver if the vehicle had brakes or if they possibly failed. He tested the pedal and it appeared as if the brakes were working properly. The officer observed a trail of fluid from the curb near the roadway leading up to the building. It appeared as if Petro had missed the turn when pulling in, and drove over the curb. When he did, his vehicle sustained damage which left a trail of fluid.

A preliminary hearing will be set before Magisterial District Judge Ron Swank.

Bad Checks

A Private Criminal Complaint was filed March 19, 2015 against Bridget Banik, 1058 Blue Ridge Trail, Wapwallopen, PA by Carone’s Market, Mountaintop. Banik was charged with bad checks.

According to the Private Criminal Complaint, Bridget Banik made out a check to Carone’s Market dated January 24 in the amount of $97.78 and a second check dated January 27, 2015 in the amount of $66.09.

Carone’s has filed for payment in full for $223.87 which includes a $30 bank service charge for each check.

A summary trial is scheduled April 22, 2015 at 9 a. m. before District Magisterial Judge Ron Swank.