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July 11, 2013

Intimidation case goes forward

— A Johnstown man will face trial in Cambria County court on charges that he threatened and shouted racial slurs at a group of girls in the city’s Moxham neighborhood, then waved a loaded handgun at them.

District Judge Leonard Grecek of Roxbury bound over all charges to county court in the June 12 ethnic intimidation case after a preliminary hearing Wednesday.

Grecek then advised the defendant, 58-year-old Jeffrey A. Minana,  to seek help for his issues.

“I don’t know what your problem is, but you might want to seek help,” Grecek said, noting that Minana has been in court twice in the past six weeks for two separate harassment accusations.

The other matter stemmed from an unrelated summary harassment count filed in late May, Grecek said.

Police allege that in the June incident, Minana harassed four young girls who were walking along Park Avenue, then waved a black gun at them.

Johnstown police Officer Todd Cline said he and fellow officers took Minana into custody with force after he removed the gun from his holster and then resisted attempts to cuff his hands behind his back.

Officers said Minana put his gun back into his holster after they ordered him to drop the firearm.

Minana’s attorney, Kevin Rozich  of Johnstown, said his client is pleading not guilty to all charges against him. He told the court Minana has a disability in one hand, suggesting that was why the man pulled his hand from an officer’s grip.

Rozich also asked if his client was given a Breathalyzer test. Cline said he did not administer one.

Minana faces multiple counts of terroristic threats, recklessly endangering an­other person and ethnic in­timidation.

The county district attorney’s office re­duced the intimidation charges from felonies to misdemeanors on Wednesday.

Rozich asked Grecek to drop the reckless endangerment charges but the judge disagreed, saying prosecutors showed enough evidence at the pre­liminary hearing to indicate they can make a case for the charges.

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