PA State Police, Honesdale, have filed charges against four males for shooting BB guns at cars traveling through the rock cut on Route 6 Bellemonte Avenue in Hawley, Tuesday evening, May 7.
HAWLEY - PA State Police, Honesdale, have filed charges against four males for shooting BB guns at cars traveling through the rock cut on Route 6 Bellemonte Avenue in Hawley, Tuesday evening, May 7.
One of the cars that was hit was a State Police vehicle.
Brendan Draughon, 18, Michael Giordano, 18, Alexander Smith, 18 and a juvenile male, age 16, all from Hawley, were arrested and charged with eight 1st degree felony counts of Aggravated Assault and other charges. The 18-year olds were arraigned before District Magistrate Bonnie Carney on Friday, May 10. The 16-year old was to be processed through Juvenile Court.
According to the affidavit filed by Cpl. Brian Rickard, PA State Police to support the charges, at around 10:05-10:10 p.m., the Honesdale barracks received multiple 9-1-1 calls from motorists on Bellemonte Avenue reporting that their vehicles were being struck by unknown projectiles while they were driving through the area.
At approximately 10:25 p.m., Troopers Gaffney and Schelling arrived on scene. While canvassing the area with a spotlight, their patrol vehicle was struck by on the passenger side upper door frame with a steel BB, apparently shot by an air or CO2-powered BB gun from the south side of the roadway. The vehicle, which was a white, marked SUV, received a small dent about five or six inches above Trooper Gaffney’s head.
Multiple victims at these scene sustained similar damage to their vehicles, including shattered windows.
As of May 10, eight different victims have come forward. In addition, two windows and screens of an apartment building at 141 Bellemonte Avenue were shot and damaged. The reported damages are in excess of $5,000.
On May 8, PSP troopers searched a wooded area to the north of Bellemonte Avenue and located two BB rifles and a mobile telephone. According to the affidavit, there was a visible message notification on the screen from the defendant, Michael Giordano, which led troopers to make contact with Giordano. The phone was later determined to belong to the 16-year old male co-defendant.
Two BB pistols and a hatchet were also recovered near the scene.
State Police said that interviews with Giordano and two co-defendants led to admissions and a confession to their actions on May 7.
During the arraignment early Friday afternoon, Magistrate Carney set $50,000 monetary bail for Giordano, with the option of electronic monitoring. Giordano, who resides in Hawley, is in 12th grade and is enrolled in cyber school. The magistrate said that conditions of electronic monitoring would limit him to stay at home, and could not use the computer other than schoolwork. He must not have contact with the co-defendants.
For Smith and Draughon, bail was set at $50,000 each.
Arraignment for Draughon was planned for later that afternoon, after school let out.
In addition to Aggravated Assault, the 18-year olds were also charged with eight counts each of Criminal Conspiracy (F1), Criminal Mischief (F3), Propulsion of Missiles into an Occupied Vehicle (M1), Simple Assault (M2) and Recklessly Endangering Another Person (M2).
During the arraignments, one of the victims as he stopped by outside the borough hall, where the district court is located. Mike Shevlin said he was driving to work and was just rounding the curve on Bellemonte Avenue when he heard a “bang” as something hit his vehicle. He said he thought it was a rock, and startled him. He pulled over just down the road and saw what looked like a bullet hole in his windshield.
Shevlin said he was glad he didn’t have his little boy with him at the time. He reported the incident to the State Police.
News of the arrests was posted on The News Eagle Facebook page shortly after the press release was issued. Within seven hours, 11,207 people were reached, with 44 comments and 203 shares.
There were numerous comments complimenting the State Police for a great job.
One comment stated, “If anyone thinks, ‘Oh it’s only a BB gun,’ you’re a moron, ‘what ifs’ is what it is about. What if someone got shot in the eye, or what if glass blew out, caused an accident or if there was a child in the car that got hit…”
Anyone with information is asked to contact either the PA State Police, Honesdale at 570-226-7126, or Hawley Borough Police at 570-226-4868.