Crews from multiple Johnstown-area departments are on scene of a building fire at a popular Johnstown restaurant.
First responders were dispatched to the Baker’s Loaf, located along Franklin Street, Tuesday afternoon for reports of “heavy smoke” coming from the building.
CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A Johnstown woman faces charges after security footage showed her assaulting a woman at the Walmart parking lot in Richland, causing severe injuries.
The woman told Richland Township police that she was at the self-checkout Tuesday when 30-year-old Tiffany Pittman started yelling at Walmart employees, calling them racist for watching her check out, the affidavit noted. The woman defended employees by telling Pittman that they were just doing their jobs and were watching her, too.
While the woman was walking to her vehicle, she told police she heard Pittman yell, “You’re that ***** that said something to me in the store,” police noted. When she turned around, Pittman hit her in the face several times, spit on her, scratched her, threw her to the ground and kicked her before leaving.
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (WJAC) — A Johnstown woman is behind bars after a toddler had a stamp bag of heroin in her mouth, police say.
According to the Adams Township Police, Janet Ruffing is facing drug charges along with endangering the welfare of children.
Police said they received a tip Sept. 17 that a 1-year-old child had been exposed to heroin while staying with Ruffing at her home on Ragers Hill Road.
The girl was allegedly with Ruffing while Ruffing was high on drugs and lost consciousness.
According to a criminal complaint, police interviewed Ruffing who admitted to the incident.
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — A Pittsburgh man was arrested and charged in Johnstown after police said he tried to rob a woman late Saturday night and then ran over her with a pickup truck.
Police said 25-year-old Denzelle Kendrick was charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and robbery among other charges.
According to investigators, officers were called to an address in Johnstown around 10 p.m. Saturday for a report of a stabbing. When they arrived, they found a woman who had actually been beaten and run over by a Ford F-150 pickup truck. Kendrick was identified as the driver. He was seen on surveillance camera reportedly trying to steal the woman’s purse during the encounter.
Officers said Kendrick took off and was eventually pursued by state police troopers into Somerset County. Court documents said troopers were able to stop him using the “box” method, where law enforcement vehicles surround a suspect vehicle and all slow down. This causes the suspect vehicle to also slow as a result.
Troopers said speeds reached more than 105 mph before they were able to stop Kendrick.
He appeared before a judge Sunday morning.
EBENSBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Approximately $8,143 worth of items were stolen from a home along the 500 block of 3rd Avenue in Elder Township, according to state police.
Sometime between Aug. 20 at 3 p.m. to Aug. 23 at 10:30 a.m., the following items were stolen by an unknown suspect(s):
- 50″ ED HDTV – $400
- Samsung Galaxy Tablet, 8″ screen – $158
- DVD player – $40
- Weber Spirit stainless steel gas grill – $635
- Space Saver Sofa, cocoa – $1,125
- Desk and desk chair – $133
- 60″ espresso electric fireplace – $423
- Phillips 22″ LED TV – $189
- Nintendo Wii – $160
- Husqvarna 21HP Kohler 46″ Hydro-Static riding mower – $1,700
- Cub Cadet 42″ riding mower – $1,590
- Another Cub Cadet 42″ riding mower – $1,590
Anyone with information should contact state police at Ebensburg.
CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped an Ebensburg woman who had a loaded gun in her purse at a security checkpoint at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, Friday, Sept. 3.
The woman was given a gate pass by an airline to allow her to meet an inbound passenger. When the .38 caliber gun was detected, TSA officers alerted the Westmoreland County Park Police, according to Pa. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials.
She now faces a stiff federal financial penalty for carrying a gun through a security checkpoint, according to the DHS.
It was the fifth handgun that TSA officers have caught at the airport so far this year. Only three guns were caught in 2019 when significantly more people were flying prior to the pandemic.
CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A Cambria County man is behind bars again after police allegedly found him passed out and hanging outside his car door with drugs in his vehicle.
According to Upper Yoder Township police, 30-year-old Jesse Lamer had the following in his vehicle:
- 1 plastic container with white crystal substance approx. 34.6 grams
- 15 stamp bags with white crystal substance approx. 5.15 grams
- 1 glass vial with white crystal substance approx. 8.01 grams
- 1 glass vial with white crystal substance approx. 13.24 grams
- 3 glass smoking devices in the center console
- 1 glass smoking device in the glove box
- 1 kit containing a scale, baggies, straws and two glass smoking devices on the passenger seat and throughout the vehicle
Police managed to seize this evidence after they were dispatched to the 200 block of Derby Street Aug. 29 for a report of a man hanging out the passenger side of his car, according to the affidavit.
CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Three Lower Yoder Township residents have been arrested after a search warrant led to the discovery of suspected crack cocaine and fentanyl.
Jason Michael Piurkowsky, 24, Tatyana Marie Lynn Simms, 22 and Ryan Anthony Ressler, 20 are all facing multiple drug-related offenses.
A warrant was executed on the 100 block of Peach Street. During the search, police found 12 grams of suspected crack cocaine, 6.5 grams of suspected fentanyl and 407 grams of suspected marijuana.
Police also found three firearms, including a ghost gun with no markings, according to District Attorney Greg Neugebauer.
Cambria County Detectives, the Attorney General’s Office, and Cambria County SERT executed the search warrant.
CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — An Indiana County couple face charges after they showed up intoxicated at the Carrolltown Dollar General with heroin and several other drugs on them, according to state police at Ebensburg.
On Aug. 10, employees at Dollar General called the cops on 33-year-old Kathryn Hoover and 41-year-old Jessey Borruto, saying that Borruto wasn’t wearing shoes and refused to leave, and Hoover was in the bathroom for over an hour.
Once police arrived and escorted them out, Hoover kept giving police false names before finally identifying herself. It turns out, Hoover was wanted by the Cambria County Sheriff’s Office, police note.Police report they asked Hoover if she had anything on her, and she pulled out an orange pill bottle with several pills and stamp bags. She also had additional stamp bags with “Taylor Gang” printed on them, and she admitted to police that they were heroin.
CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ)– The Cambria County coroner has been called to the scene of a deadly shooting on Lunen Street near Park Avenue in the Moxham district that happened around 2:48 p.m.
A male who appears to be in his late 20s was found dead in the driver’s seat of a car parked along Lunen Street. It is possible that he died due to a gunshot wound according to the coroner.
The Johnstown Police Department along with the coroner are currently investigating the deadly shooting. An autopsy will be conducted tomorrow.
The name of the male has not been released due to the dead male’s family needing to be notified.
CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Stonycreek Township Police Department is warning Oakland and Solomon residence that there were multiple calls of shots fired yesterday.
Callers said they heard the gunshots in the area of the 1400 block of Ocala Avenue and the wooded area behind Solomon Homes yesterday, Aug. 11, according to the department.
Once officers arrived, they report that multiple armed suspects fled on foot down the powerline from the water tower to Solomon Homes, but they were unable to arrest them.
Police said they found multiple pieces of evidence that they recovered from the scene, and they feel confident that they will be able to identify the suspects.
Additionally, police noted that they have received multiple calls of shots fired in the past in the wooded area off of Upper Penrod Street and Tampa Avenue, which they discovered is a legal personal range on private property.
However, this incident is NOT related to the range and is “illegal and extremely dangerous.”
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.
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JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – A drug organization accused of funneling fentanyl, methamphetamine and other drugs into Johnstown from both coasts has been dismantled, resulting in charges against 31 people, law enforcement officials said.
A federal indictment unsealed Thursday included counts against 22 Johnstown residents, one person from Indiana County, one from the Pittsburgh area and seven from “supply” hubs in the Philadelphia area and Long Beach, California.
That list includes Mikal Davis, 44, of Philadelphia, who already had been charged in federal court last month as a distributor and kingpin of the organized drug trafficking operation.
“Drugs ruin families, communities and lives,” said David Abbott, the assistant special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations’ Pittsburgh office. “These defendants preyed on drug addicts in Pennsylvania for their own greed without any remorse for the lives they destroyed.”
CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A Johnstown man is facing assault charges after police were told he held a loaded gun to his girlfriend’s throat and tried to shove it in her mouth.
Johnstown police were informed that Travis Williams, 29, and his girlfriend were fighting Aug. 10 at the 100 block of Harshberger Road, according to charges filed.
When police arrived, they found a 9mm bullet on the floor near William’s feet, and the woman had noticeable injuries on her neck, face and chest. Police also noted she appeared to be in shock and scared as Williams continued to yell at her.
Williams told police he did hit his girlfriend and that a gun was involved, which was located in the front closet.
Williams then said to police that they “don’t scare him,” and when they tried to arrest him, he lunged toward the closet where the gun was located, police noted in the charges. Officers continued to fight with Williams to keep him away from the closet, and they eventually managed to arrest him after tasing him.
Police note that as they were taking Williams to the patrol car, he was “passively resisting” and dropped his body in dog feces because he didn’t want to walk in the grass without his shoes on.
Once Williams was put into the car, police spoke to his girlfriend.
The girlfriend explained to police that she came home, and she feared Williams might’ve been there and would attack her, so she came with a loaded 380 Auto Ruger handgun to protect herself, the affidavit notes.
As she walked around the corner of the bedroom, Williams began to attack her and took the gun.
The woman said he continued hitting her. He then placed her handgun to her throat while she was on the floor, and he tried to force her mouth open to shove the gun in her mouth
“This one isn’t going to be good enough,” Williams had allegedly said to her before grabbing the 9mm Ruger handgun, to which he then held to her head.
Two Johnstown-area juveniles face charges stemming from an attempted burglary-turned-chase Sunday in Lorain Borough.
According to Stonycreek Township police Officer Tom Owens, the teenagers were two of five who forced entry into the Lorain residence Sunday morning – and the group is believed to be behind a string of vehicle thefts in the West Hills, Ferndale and Johnstown in recent weeks.
Police were called to the 300 block of Lunen Street at 10:40 a.m.
Owens said the five individuals forced their way into the residence through a door, which caused a loud enough noise that it alerted the homeowner.
He armed himself and encountered the teens in his basement, “hollering at them to get out,” and then pursuing them when they left the basement and headed into his yard.
While in the yard, the occupant fired his weapon, but no one was struck, Owens said.
“All five subjects fled in a white vehicle,” said Owens, which police later learned was a Chevy sedan.
Stonycreek, Johnstown, West Hills and other neighboring departments joined in the pursuit.
Owens said a West Hills officer spotted the vehicle on Bedford Street and followed it into Moxham.
The West Hills officer caught one of them and a Johnstown police officer caught another a short time later, Owens said.
Police were working Monday to identify and locate the other three suspects, one of whom was the driver of the car.
The Chevrolet was seized by police, and plans were in motion to search it for evidence, Owens added.
A stolen firearm was recovered from one of the teens, he said.
Both will face a list of counts through the Cambria County Juvenile Court system, Owens said.
The youths’ names weren’t released because they are younger than 18.
But the charges will include burglary, criminal trespass, receiving stolen property, unlawful firearm possession, resisting arrest and fleeing and eluding police, he said.
Anyone with information that could help in the investigation can call Stonycreek Township police at 814-266-3112.
JOHNSTOWN, Pa (WJAC) — According to Cambria County Deputy Coroner Joseph Hriber, a Johnstown woman has been identified as the victim of a single-vehicle crash along Menoher Blvd. Saturday afternoon.
Authorities say 48-year-old Stella Clarke died as a result of multiple blunt force injuries after crashing her car along the 4100 block of Menoher Blvd. on Saturday.
Investigators believe weather-related factors caused Clarke to leave the roadway, strike a tree and travel down an embankment.
Officials add that a 14-year-old passenger has since been treated at Conemaugh Hospital and released.
The crash reportedly occurred around 3:15 p.m. Saturday near the Somerset/Cambria County line.
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — At least five people are facing federal charges for their involvement in a large cocaine ring that distributed drugs throughout the region, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
According to a criminal complaint in U.S. District Court, Mikal Davis, James Dotson, Azheem Ellis, Dwight Logan and Timothy Mollet have been charged with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine.
Agents with the FBI, Department of Homeland Security were assisted by state and local law enforcement as they executed warrants at several locations throughout the city Thursday morning, according to WJAC.Investigators say the quintet distributed the drugs in the Johnstown and Monroeville areas and beyond.
According to the complaint, agents and Task Force Officers used multiple confidential informants throughout the investigation.
The complaint says investigators recorded phone calls and made controlled buys from the defendants between June 3, 2019 and March 31, 2021.
Davis is described by the FBI as the co-leader of the organization, Dotson is described as the lieutenant and Ellis, Logan and Mollet are described as distributors.
Authorities say Hector Concepcion is also facing federal charges for distributing cocaine and heroin between August 12, 2019 and December 23, 2020.
CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A Cambria County man is in custody after allegedly pulling a gun on a Patton Borough police officer, Tuesday, July 13.
Austin Yanella, 24, of Hastings was pulled over on Magee Avenue after making a left turn through a red light. After being pulled over, Yanella exited the vehicle and refused to get back in even though he was ordered to do so. Yanella then began yelling and walking away from the scene until the officer pulled out a taser and pointed it at him, according to the criminal complaint.
Then, Yanella pointed a .22 caliber handgun at the officer. The officer fired the taser which dropped Yanella to the ground, according to the criminal complaint.
Yanella was arrested and placed into Cambria County prison on felony count charges of aggravated assault, possession of a prohibited firearm and firearms not be carried without a license. And, misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct and recklessly endangering another person.
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (WTAJ) — A woman is in Cambria County Prison after police say she drove onto a sidewalk to hit a man with her van. It was about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday when Jo…
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (WTAJ) — A woman is in Cambria County Prison after police say she drove onto a sidewalk to hit a man with her van.
It was about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday when Johnstown police were called out to Coopersdale Homes after 22-year-old Yamonnie Pressley got into an argument with her sister’s boyfriend and drove into him with a 2019 Dodge Caravan, according to the charges.
Police indicated she then fought with the man’s sister who arrived to drive him to the hospital.
Pressley told police the man she is accused of hitting with her van started arguing with her when she tried to get her belongings and she claimed he threw a brick and hit her van. Police pointed out in the charges that there was a dent in the bottom of the driver’s side rear door with particles of brick in it.
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (WJAC) — Two people are facing charges after a major methamphetamine bust at a Johnstown hotel Friday, according to the Cambria County District Attorney’s Office.
District Attorney Greg Neugebauer says Cambria County Sheriff’s Deputies came into contact with Amanda Robinson and Michael Knisely Friday at the Econo Lodge on Napolean Street downtown.
Investigators say suspected drug activity led to the discovery of more than 600 grams of methamphetamine which has a street value of about $65,000.
Investigators say they also discovered other drugs like heroin, pills and marijuana, along with $10,274.
Authorities say 39-year-old Vanessa Stephens was arrested Thursday in Solomon Homes on felony drug charges.
Investigators say a search of her residence led to the seizure of 4.5 grams of crack cocaine, as well as a small amount of heroin.
Stephens faces charges of drug possession with the intent to deliver, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication device, according to court documents.
Jeff Hammer has spent the past four decades involved in multiple fields, including business, finance, education, nonprofit and energy, which has enabled him to work across the region, state, country and even the world.
He is now looking to enter municipal government.
Earlier this week, Hammer announced he is running in the 2021 Democratic Party primary for Johnstown mayor, looking to unseat incumbent Frank Janakovic.
Hammer is a current director of sales for Transparent Energy, which procures third-party energy for retail customers.
LOWER YODER TWP, Pa. (WJAC) — Police say a Johnstown man has been charged with reckless endangerment after firing a gun at a vehicle near several homes.
According to the West Hills Regional Police Department, officers were called Friday to the 100 block of Norton Road after neighbors reported hearing a gunshot.
The neighbors reported that 31-year-old Randy Spicher was inside the home and intoxicated, according to police.
Police say they announced more than 30 times for the home to be evacuated and for Spicher to come to the front door with his hands in the air.
Spicher is being lodged in the Cambria County Prison in lieu of $30,000 bail.
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (WJAC) — The attorney for a Johnstown area man who admitted to setting fire to a vacant Johnstown building that he was helping renovate for a management company that had owned the building says his client accepted responsibility as he was sentenced Thursday to an additional 30 months in federal prison and is ordered to pay more than $1.3 million in restitution.
Mark Hutchison, 35, was one of two men charged with igniting the Fairfield Avenue complex on Dec. 12, 2018. Investigators say the building had been purchased by a New York-based company from Citrona Homes, LLC in Florida and was undergoing renovations.
“Mark accepted responsibility for his role in this incident from the outset,” said Art McQuillan, Hutchison’s attorney. “We respect the sentence the court imposed.”
Dec. 7—A new website launched by the Cambria County Drug & Alcohol Program is designated to increase awareness among county residents of the drug- and alcohol-related treatment options available to them through the program, officials said.
The website, www.cambriadrugandalcohol.com, was described on Thursday by Fred Oliveros, program administrator, as “part of our ongoing efforts to make residents aware that drug and alcohol treatment is available at no cost.”
“Online searches are often a first step for individuals seeking information,” Oliveros said.
ARE YOU READY TO GET HELP?
- Central Park Complex110 Franklin Street, Suite 300,Johnstown, PA 15901
From midnight and through the day Tuesday, we will have snow showers leaving many with 1-2″ and areas north of I-80 and along the ridges picking up around 3″ of snow.
Our highs will struggle to make it to 40 degrees on Tuesday.
For the rest of the week, it’ll be cold with lows in the upper 20’s and highs in the low 40’s.
Our next round of rain and snow is possible late Thursday and through the day Friday.
The Johnstown Police Department is investigating a shooting within the city Wednesday.
7th Ward Ambulance and officers were called to the Dollar General Store, at 641 Main St., around 5 p.m. for an individual with a single gunshot wound to his hand.
It was unclear how the person received the injury or where it had occurred, police said.
The Dollar General was only the reporting location.
Authorities are attempting to verify the validity of the victim’s story.
A Johnstown man pleaded guilty on Monday to setting fire to a mattress near a trailer, damaging the structure and forcing a family member who lived there to flee, authorities said.
Brandon Joseph Pileski, 28, of the 100 block of Benshoff Street, pleaded guilty to a summary charge of disorderly conduct during a preliminary hearing before District Judge Mary Ann Zanghi, of Vinco.
According to a criminal complaint filed by East Taylor Township police, Pileski set fire to a mattress outside of the trailer in the 1200 block of Bartlett Street on July 8.
A Johnstown woman has been charged with felony aggravated assault after police say she filmed herself brutally attacking a 12-year-old girl. Authorities say 32-year-old Emily Sarver is facing charges related to aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and corruption of minors. According to the Richland Township Police Department, the investigation began in Oct. 2019 when the girl reported the assault to her school nurse.
Police say the video of the attack confirmed the same details the girl described to investigators.
Sarver waited for the girl to enter the living room at which point she began beating the girl in the head and face with her hands and a wooden spoon for about seven minutes while berating her with vulgar language, the complaint says.
The video shows Sarver grab the girl by her hair, throw her on the ground and continue assaulting her, the complaint says.