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Judge Lepley arraigns first defendants of the new year

Jersey Shore man charged with assault

Brenden Gardner, 22, of 367 Beeber Drive, is charged with simple assault and harassment after a physical altercation with his brother, state police allege.

According to Trooper Garrett Shnyder, Gardner allegedly admitted to punching his brother multiple times in the head, and admitted he saw lacerations on his brothers’ forehead after the incident the morning of Jan. 1.

Gardner was arraigned by Judge Jerry Lepley, and was released on $5,000 bail. He is not to have contact with his brother until a preliminary hearing before Judge John Kemp Jan. 8.

Man allegedly refused to return borrowed hunting rifle

Shawn Rupert, 30, of 962 Gander Back Road, Hughesville, allegedly refused to return the hunting rifle he borrowed from his father for hunting season, state police said.

Rupert was permitted to use the rifle during white tail hunting season, which ended on Dec. 12, Trooper Matthew Chamberlain said.

Rupert was released on a $5,000 bail set by judge Jerry Lepley, who arraigned him on charges of theft and receiving stolen property. Rupert is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Jan. 15 before Kemp.

Benton man allegedly held woman down to prevent her from calling police

A Benton man is accused of simple assault, unlawful restraint and harassment after he allegedly assaulted his girlfriend during an argument, state police said.

Joshua Swinehart, 33, of 502 Shultz Lane, Benton, allegedly punched a television screen and threw a metal rack at his girlfriend at 3:20 a.m. Jan. 3, according to Trooper Troy Hansen. As the argument continued to escalate, Swinehart allegedly attempted to prevent his girlfriend from calling the police by holding her down.

According to state police, the girlfriend allegedly feared for her own safety, so she grabbed a handgun from her drawer, told him to leave and said she was calling the police.

In his report, Hansen said he observed cuts and swelling to the side of the woman’s face, as well as the damaged television. Swinehart allegedly went to the Montoursville Barracks at the state police’s request, and admitted to throwing the metal rack.

Lepley arraigned Swinehart, and released him on $10,000 bail, with the provision that Swinehart have no contact with the victim. Swinehart is scheduled for a preliminary hearing before Kemp on Jan. 15.

Mill Hall man allegedly drove vehicle into creek while drunk

Ronald Winkleman, 58, of 2361 Eagle Valley Road, Mill Hall, was found to have had a BAC of 0.1% when he allegedly drove his vehicle off Lycoming Creek Road into the creek July 23, Old Lycoming Township Police said.

Matthew McCormick, the investigating officer, said there were no signs of vehicle failure or breaking, and that when crews removed Winkleman’s vehicle from the creek, they found empty beer cans in the driver’s compartment.

Winkleman was arraigned before Lepley for driving under the influence. Lepley released Winkleman on $2,500 bail, and Winkleman is scheduled for a preliminary hearing before Judge William Solomon Jan. 6.

City man allegedly left Family Dollar with stolen items

City police alleged a man attempted to steal two plastic bags worth of items from the West Fourth Street Family Dollar at around noon Jan. 2.

Muhammad Davis, 45, of 752 W. Fourth St., Apt. 4, faces charges of retail theft related to walking out of Family Dollar with 24 items valued at $138.37, according to an affidavit filed by Dustin Reeder, a city police officer.

A Family Dollar employee allegedly saw Davis leaving without paying for the items, so she tried to stop him. However, Davis allegedly kept walking. The employee allegedly followed him out of the store, said she recognized the store items and said she knew he did not pay for them.

“Man, don’t call the cops,” Davis allegedly said. “I just won’t come here no more.”

Cameras recorded Davis unfolding two plastic grocery bags and filling them with the items before leaving, Reeder said in the affidavit. Davis was arraigned by Lepley, who set bail for $5,000. Davis remains incarcerated in the Lycoming County Prison until his preliminary hearing before Judge Christian Frey.

City woman allegedly assaulted boyfriend

City police allege Monique Rittenhouse, 25, of 659 Campbell St., Apt. 8, assaulted her boyfriend when he tried to leave the house.

Rittenhouse allegedly struck the man at least five times in the area of his chest when he attempted to leave the Campbell Street apartment, according to Thad Trafford, a city officer.

In the affidavit, Trafford said he observed a swollen bulge on the man’s left ribs. The alleged victim was taken to UPMC Williamsport, where Trafford said he was being treated for broken ribs.

Rittenhouse was arraigned by Lepley for charges of simple assault and harassment. Lepley set bail for $5,000 and, unable to post, Rittenhouse was incarcerated in the Lycoming County Prison until her preliminary hearing before Judge Aaron Biichle Jan. 7. She is to have no contact with the alleged victim.

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