District judges hear various cases

Charges filed against hit-run driver

Traveling at a high rate of speed as he was fleeing a state trooper in South Williamsport about 2:20 a.m. on Feb. 13, motorist Paul Stryker failed to stop for multiple stop signs, according to court records.

Turning east on West Mountain Avenue from Maynard Street, Stryker, 34, of 1305 W. Southern Ave., South Williamsport, struck a parked van and lost control of his 2008 Mercedes-Benz, police said. He bailed out of the car, abandoning it at Mountain and Jaculin avenues, police said, adding that he is listed as the car’s registered owner. He called police hours later, admitting that he was the driver who fled from them, court records stated.

Charged with fleeing police, accidents involving damage to unattended vehicle (hit-run) and recklessly endangering another person and careless driving, Stryker was recently arraigned before District Judge Gary Whiteman and released on $10,000 bail.

Felony charges filed against city woman

Danika Peterson, 31, of 1000 Park Ave., faces charges of felony theft, felony theft of leased property and misdemeanor unauthorized use of a motor vehicle for allegedly failing to return a car she rented from Budget Rent A Car, 724 Airport Road, Montoursville, in mid-August, according to borough police.

Peterson rented a 2020 Subaru Forester on Aug. 9 and was to return it two days later, but never did, police alleged. The vehicle was recovered on Feb. 16 when police went to her home, then in the 1500 block of Fox Hollow Road, and discovered it there, court records stated. She is free on $15,000 bail.

Two charged with DUI

Motorist Weston Davis, 46, of 1043 Holmes Hollow Road, Hughesville, was charged by state police with DUI after they stopped is station wagon on Route 405 in Wolf Township about 12:30 a.m. on Feb. 13. Police allege he drove over the fog line and also was weaving in a travel lane.

“I immediately detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his vehicle,” a trooper wrote in an affidavit. Davis failed a series of field sobriety tests, police said. In court papers, there was no information on what his blood-alcohol concentration level was at the time. He has been sent a summons to appear before a district judge.

In another case, after being stopped for having illegally tinted windows and a burned out brake light on his pickup truck, motorist Levi Swartz, 18, of 77 Woolen Mill Road, Hughesville, initially denied smoking marijuana, but then admitted that he had indeed used the drug, according to court records.

Swartz was pulled over near Meadowbrook Road in Muncy Creek Township about 11:10 p.m. on Aug. 24, police said. The trooper said the driver “was pale, slow and sluggish,” and his eyes were bloodshot and glassy. A blood test confirmed that the presence of marijuana in his system, police said.

Charged with DUI of a controlled substance, Swartz has been sent a summons to appear before a district judge.

South Carolina man charged by Montoursville police

James Brabham, 64, of Pendleton, South Carolina, has been charged with two counts of indecent assault for allegedly having inappropriate contact with two minors, according to Montoursville police.

The alleged incidents occurred while Brabham was visiting the borough in May, 2019, police said. Currently incarcerated in a South Carolina county jail where he is awaiting trial on sex charges in that state, he was arraigned before Whiteman — via video — and remained behind bars in lieu of an additional $25,000 bail.

Loyalsock Township woman charged for shoving trooper

Jacqueline Kautz, 23, of 2041 Woodland Road, has been charged with aggravated assault and harassment following an incident at her home in which she allegedly shoved a state trooper, according to court records.

Police were called to the woman’s house to handle a disturbance between her and her mother about 3:30 a.m. on Nov. 24. Kautz waived her preliminary hearing Monday before Whiteman and remains free on $15,000 bail.

Man charged with assaulting estranged wife

Edwin Portalatin, 50, of 807 Pleasant Hill Road, faces charges of simple assault and harassment for allegedly striking his wife, Maria, three times with a wooden and metal television stand inside her home in the 1600 block of Northway Road in Loyalsock Township on March 26, state police said.

Following his arraignment later that night before District Judge Christian Frey, Portalatin was released on $15,000 bail.


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