Police Briefs

Strangulation: Pennsylvania State Police have charged Chad Lee Payne, 30, of Horseheads, New York with strangulation, simple assault and harassment following an incident on Jan. 3. 

According to court records, Payne was arrested after police responded to a home in Wells Township around 3:55 p.m. following reports of a dispute. 

Police documents state that officers were told that Payne had gotten in an argument with a victim over a cell phone and put the victim in a “headlock from behind.”

Officers were told that the victim could not breath while Payne had the victim in the headlock and that the victim told Payne to stop but he continued, according to the affidavit of probable cause. 

Payne was arrested with a bail set at $15,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled to take place on Jan. 20 before Magisterial District Judge Larry Hurley. 

Theft: Pennsylvania State Police have charged both Justin Thomas Wheeler, 33, of Sayre and Sarah Ann Miller, 32, of Sayre after a theft in Smithfield Township in July.

According to court records, after an investigation, police have determined that Wheeler and Miller stole items totaling over $2,440 from the vehicle of a victim in Smithfield Township this summer.

Police documents show that items stolen included a fishing crossbow valued at $550, two fishing poles valued at approximately $200, two remote controlled cars valued at $350 and $700, a knife, a .22 caliber rifle, medical supplies including insulin and insulin syringes and ammunition. 

Wheeler has been charged with theft by unlawful taking-movable property, receiving stolen property and possessing a prohibited offensive weapon. 

Miller has been charged with theft by unlawful taking-moveable property and receiving stolen property. 

Wheeler’s bail was set at $60,000, while Miller’s was set at $60,000 initially then lowered to $20,000. Both Wheeler and Miller have preliminary hearings scheduled for Jan. 20 before Magisterial District Judge Jonathan Wilcox. 

Simple assault: Pennsylvania State Police have charged John Lewis Bellows, 46, of Canton with simple assault, harassment and terroristic threats following an incident in Leroy Township on Jan. 6. 

According to police documents, officers were dispatched to a residence in Leroy Township after receiving reports that Bellows had been acting erratically. 

Court records show that after arriving on the scene, police were told that Bellows had been throwing and kicking items in the house he was in, kicking the wheelchair a victim was using, threatened to “cut (the victims’) hearts out,” and shoving people.

Police were told that Bellows had been acting aggressively and erratically with actions such as this for two days beforehand, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

In the affidavit of probable cause, police noted that when interacting with them at the scene, Bellows “displayed extremely erratic behavior indicative of drug use.”

Bellows was arrested with a bail set at $175,000 and a preliminary hearing scheduled for Jan. 20 before Magisterial District Judge Jonathan Wilcox. 

Drug possession: Jeremy J. Wilkinson, 46, of Ulster Township, was charged for the use/possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance without being registered, resisting arrest/other law enforcement, and disorderly conduct – engaging in fighting, and public drunkenness and similar misconduct.

Pennsylvania State Police in Towanda responded to a Dandy Mart in Ulster Township at about 5:55 p.m. on Jan. 3 following a call about a suspicious person.

Wilkinson was found to be under the influence of a controlled substance. A search of his person determined that he was in possession of a controlled substance.

Wilkinson was confined to the Bradford County Correctional Facility later that day and was unable to post a $50,000 bail.

A preliminary hearing is set for 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 20.

Stolen welder: Pennsylvania State Police in Towanda are currently investigating the theft of a welder stolen from the garage of a Tuscarora Township residence.

The Hobart Handler 140 welder is valued at $570.

Anyone with information is asked to call state police in Towanda at (570) 265-2186.

Stolen camera: Pennsylvania State Police in Towanda are investigating a theft of a Wildgame Innovations trail camera from a Standing Stone Township residence.

The camera is valued at $60 and is believed to have been stolen at some point in the past few weeks.

Anyone with information on its location is asked to call state police in Towanda at (570) 265-2186.

Stolen license plate: Pennsylvania State Police in Towanda are looking into a stolen license plate that was believed to have been taken at about 11:47 a.m. on Dec. 31, 2020 from a Monroe Township residence.

Anyone with information on a license plate bearing JMW3199 is asked to call state police in Towanda at (570) 265-2186.

DUI: James Eugene Sluyter, 63, of Towanda, was charged with a DUI – unsafe driving, BAC of .16 or greater, and careless driving.

Pennsylvania State Police in Towanda said that at about 9:20 p.m. on Dec. 4, 2020, Malinda Martin placed a phone call to Sluyter after being arrested for DUI.

She asked Sluyter to come pick her up at PSP Towanda, according to the criminal complaint.

When he arrived almost 20 minutes later, police noted that he strongly smelled of alcohol and his speech was slurred.

He struggled to retrieve his license from his wallet, prompting an officer to go outside and search his vehicle. The officer found several cans of beer; some were empty and some were full.

After failing sobriety tests in the conference room, Sluyter was handcuffed and placed under arrest for DUI.

PSP received the results of his blood draw on Dec. 14 and it showed that he had a BAC of .32%.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Feb. 12.

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