Former Festival Treasurer Recently Accused of Stealing Funds Now Accused of Bad Check
According to the criminal complaint, on Oct. 19, a local landlord reported that she had received a bad check from her tenant, Suzanne Bleakney, 50, of Ellwood City. Suzanne was recently facing charges of theft by unlawful taking and theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received, after she accusingly stole upwards of $1650.00 from the Ellwood City Arts, Crafts, Food, and Entertainment Festival bank account during her time working as the treasurer. She is now facing charges for writing a bad check to her landlord in the amount of $1375.00. The check bounced and incurred a return fee of $20.00, the victim sent a notice to Bleakney allowing 10 days to make the check good and to pay for related fees associated with the returned check. Bleakney signed for the notice of “bad check” by certified mail on Oct. 31, but has failed to make the check good. As of current, the victim has suffered a total loss in the amount of $1,515.78.
High Speed Chase in Ellwood
According to the criminal complaint, on Nov. 1, 2016, an Ellwood officer entered into a high speed pursuit with Justin Troy Haswell, 22, of Ellwood City. The complaint states that the officer was sitting at a stop sign on Joffree Street pulling out onto Woodside Avenue when the officer observed a burgundy colored Pontiac Vibe being driven by the defendant. The officer identified the driver and was aware that the defendant’s drivers license is suspended. The officer activated the emergency red and blue lights to initiate a traffic stop. Haswell made a right turn onto Smiley Street and slowed down to pull over, however, he immediately accelerated and pursued on Smiley Street at a high rate of speed, making a quick turn onto Orchard Ave. Haswell then accelerated at a high rate of speed west on Orchard Ave. through the residential neighborhoods as numerous people and children were in the area on the side walk and in their front yards. The defendant failed to stop for numerous stop signs, almost resulting in collisions with other vehicles. Haswell continued west past North Side Primary on Orchard Avenue- still at a high rate of speed, and then made a left turn onto College Street and then a quick right onto Hazel Avenue. The defendant then made a turn onto Cedar Street traveling south and the officer pulled onto Cedar Street at Line Avenue as the defendant was traveling towards the officer. The defendant then drove in front of the officers patrol car and through a front yard to avoid colliding with the police cruiser. Haswell continued down Cedar Street and made a right turn onto Wampum Avenue traveling west towards Wampum. While being trailed, the defendant continued to increase his speed and started traveling in the east bound lane driving around vehicles in the westbound lane. The officer terminated the pursuit since Haswell and his vehicle were positively identified. Haswell is now facing charges of fleeing and eluding a police officer, driving while suspended, and reckless driving.
Man Steals from Laundromat
According to the criminal complaint, on Jan. 12, 2016, Snowy White Laundromat in Ellwood reported a theft; the suspect pried open coin boxes in order to obtain $100 worth of quarters stored in them which ultimately resulted in damage to several coin operated machines. The suspect was identified as Joshua McQuinston, 30, of Fombell. McQuinston was brought in for questioning about the incident, and he admitted to an earlier theft at the laundromat that occurred on Nov. 30, 2015, stating he and his sister were involved. He was further questioned about a second break-in at the same laundromat on Jan. 12, 2016 which was also on video. Despite initially admitting to the second incident in addition to the first, he retracted any involvement to it. Due to the evidence, McQuinston is facing charges of theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, and criminal mischief.
Man Facing Charges for Suspected Heroin Overdose
According to the criminal complaint, on Oct. 28, officers were dispatched to assist EMS with a possible overdose. Upon arrival to the scene officers were met by EMS who stated the male probably overdosed on heroin. The male later became responsive and was identified as John Joseph Rimoldi, 51, of Wampum. Officers observed a syringe, spoon, and a small amount of suspected heroin on the kitchen table next to the defendant. Although conscious, Rimoldi was falling asleep and unable to tell responding officials what had happened. The evidence was collected and entered. A witness to the event states she was in the living room when the incident occurred and when she walked into the kitchen she found the defendant on the floor with the heroin and syringe on the table next to him. She stated she left the items on the table where she found them because “this needs to stop.” Rimoldi is facing two counts of charges for prohibited acts.