Some Pennsylvania Towns Evict Tenants Based On 911 Calls

Despite a state law signed last year to avoid such circumstances, some communities are still applying parts of local ordinances that allow them to have “disruptive” tenants evicted if more than a few calls to 911 have been made from a residence — even when those calls result from domestic abuse.

The American Civil Liberties Union is involved in a current case in Verona and worked with a woman in Mount Oliver who faced a similar situation last summer. In 2013, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit against Norristown, Pa., after the organization said officials there pushed for the eviction of a woman who was a victim of domestic violence.

Sara Rose, an attorney at the ACLU of Pennsylvania, said it’s hard to tell how often these types of ordinances —  intended to prevent disruptive behavior — are being used as punishment when tenants call 911. Several municipalities in the state have such ordinances, but Ms. Rose said she’s not aware of any towns that have repealed or changed them since then-Gov. Tom Corbett signed the new law in November.

“Just having it creates a chilling effect on tenants who might be afraid to call the police,” she said.

Read more:

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/2015/04/04/Some-Pennsylvania-towns-evicting-tenants-based-on-911-calls/stories/201504040090

Man Kidnapped At Sword-Point Friday Survived Earlier Wilkes-Barre Shooting

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently, he survived a gunshot wound to the head. Now, he survived a kidnapping at sword-point.

Josue Vargas, 27, was kidnapped from his residence at 62 Hutson St., Wilkes-Barre, in the early hours of Friday morning and taken to a dark, vacant location where two men terrorizing him with a sword stripped him naked and told him they would kill them if he didn’t hand over his bank card, according to an affidavit.

Police charged Jhojan “Flaco” Guerra, 27, and Juan “Speedy” Hernandez, 34, with kidnapping, robbery and related offenses following their arrests shortly after Vargas explained what officers called “a disturbing list of events.”

The defendants claimed Vargas owed them money from a prior debt and knew he was just paid, according to police. The alleged kidnappers struck Vargas in the face to force him into the vehicle around 1 a.m., police said.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/man-kidnapped-at-sword-point-friday-survived-earlier-w-b-shooting-1.1717965

Luzerne County 911: No Calls Missed

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A thorough review Monday of Luzerne County 911’s computerized database refutes a claim made by Hazleton’s police chief that callers could not get through last week to report a man was shot, the interim 911 director said.

The database logs all calls made to the center — including those not picked up by a phone operator — and there were no missed calls in the half-hour period before the July 5 shooting, interim 911 Executive Director Fred Rosencrans said.

On Friday, Hazleton Police Chief Frank DeAndrea blasted the county emergency dispatch agency, saying the victim remained bleeding on the street after the 1:40 a.m. shooting because people at the scene couldn’t get an answer at 911 until 2 a.m.

“I am saying with certainty it didn’t happen the way it was portrayed,” Rosencrans said.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/659924/County-911:-No-calls-missed

Hazleton Police Chief: 911 Response To Shooting Victim Calls Unacceptable

Downtown Hazleton, PA

Downtown Hazleton, PA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another of the “bigger concerns” police have is with Luzerne County 911, DeAndrea said.

“Apparently it took over 25 minutes for 911 to answer the phone,” he said.  “There’s a high call volume because it (was) the Fourth of July.  However, there’s a man lying shot, bleeding, on the streets of the city of Hazleton and (911) can’t get the phone answered to dispatch a car.

“So here’s the Hazleton Police Department excited with a 3-minute response, thinking maybe we’re going to catch the shooter with a smoking gun, and it ends up we’re a half hour after the fact,” DeAndrea said.  “That just doesn’t make any sense.”

By talking with the family who lives in the home in front of which the shooting occurred, DeAndrea said, he was trying to pin down how many people called 911.  “The family was actually trying to flag vehicles down in the middle of Diamond Avenue to try and send someone for help,” DeAndrea said.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/654857/Chief:-911-response-to-shooting-victim-calls-unacceptable

Bicyclist Hit By Tree On Thun Trail During Last Night’s Violent Storm

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A man riding his bicycle on the Thun Trail next to the Schuylkill River was hit on the head and knocked down by a falling tree Thursday night as a powerful thunderstorm roared through Berks County, felling trees, power lines and even street signs.

The rider, a middle-aged man who was not identified by emergency personal, managed to call 9-1-1 for help from under the large tree, which shattered his helmet and mangled his mountain bike.

The accident happened at 7:20 p.m. as the storm knocked down trees and wires across Berks. Transformers blew up, alarms went off in homes and commercial buildings and the lights flickered in the city.

County emergency dispatchers were able to direct city firefighters to a general area along the trail after using cell towers to triangulate the location of the injured man’s cellphone.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=403839