The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

September 7, 2013

2 city men deny luring young boys

EBENSBURG — Two Johnstown men are attempting to convince a Cambria County judge that when they motioned and called to two boys in July 2012 they were not attempting to lure them, as charged by city police.  

Harry Milton Jones, 72, of Bedford Street, and Richard George Norton, 45, of Railroad Street, told Judge Linda Fleming through their attorneys this week that their actions should not necessarily mean they intended to cause any harm to the boys.

An attempt to lure does not occur on the mere offer of a ride, said attorney David Raho of the Cambria County Public Defenders Office, who represents Jones.

Attorney Gregory Neugebauer, also with the public defenders office and representing Norton, agreed with Pennsylvania case law cited by Raho.

But Cambria County Assistant District Attorney Beth Bolton Penna said Jones and Norton did far more than wave.

At one point they followed the boys to the point the boys feared they were going to be hit.

“We don’t just have a mere wave, this was a chase down,” Bolton Penna told Fleming.

Police allege that Jones and Norton attempted to lure the brothers, ages 12 and 7, into a pickup in Old Conemaugh Borough on July 9, 2012.

The boys were riding bicycles near Railroad Street when Jones and Norton, who had allegedly been watching them, attempted to get the boys into the truck, police said.

Norton, the passenger, repeatedly called “come here,” and motioned to the boys from the truck window, police said in the criminal complaint.

When the truck moved toward the boys, the 12-year-old told his brother to run and both boys rode off on their bikes.

“The truck followed them and the driver floored it,” Bolton Penna said. “The older boy felt he was going to be hit by the truck.”

Bolton Penna argued that there was no reason for the men to be making contact with the boys.

Raho argued that the words were only to “come here,” and there was no offer of further enticement such as candy, ice cream or money.

Additionally, he said, they did not ask the boys to get into or enter the truck, only to come to it.

“Iā€ˆbelieve that is very significant,” Raho told the court.

The case law referred to was dealing with inclement weather and does not apply to the circumstances in the Norton-Jones cases, Bolton Penna said.

“There was no inclement weather. There is no indication they were good Samaritans giving them (the boys) a ride home.”

And the boys had bikes, she said.

Fleming did not indicate when she would issue a ruling.

Kathy Mellott covers the Cambria County courthouse for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/kathymellotttd.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 19, 2014

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 19, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 19, 2014

  • VIDEO | Boston bomb scare defendant appears in court

    The man accused of carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the anniversary of the bombings was arraigned Wednesday. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

    April 19, 2014

  • Denne, Williams & Stanton Records hearing scheduled

    A Cambria County judge will consider complaints filed by two Johnstown residents seeking documents related to the city’s municipal waste water operation at hearing at the end of this month.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sen. Bob Casey Casey targets heroin

    The heroin trade has brought addiction, death, violence and theft to Johnstown and other Pennsylvania communities.
    Figuring out how to deal with those issues is difficult for local, state and federal officials.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drive-in to open with high-tech projector

    Drive-in movie theaters and the term “state of the art” seldom share the same sentence.
    But that will soon be the case for the Silver Drive-In, it’s owner said. The Scalp Avenue site, often marketed as a nostalgic summer night escape, soon will boast a high-end projector capable of displaying the latest and greatest blockbusters in razor sharp high-definition, theater owner Rick Rosco said.

    April 18, 2014

  • Sheetz work underway

    Earthmoving is underway at Richland Town Centre for a nearly 6,500-square-foot Sheetz store.
    And the real estate broker marketing the land says a 3,000-square-foot retail building will be built next door.

    April 18, 2014

  • Smith, Shakir Mosi Police seize heroin, money in Prospect

    Johnstown police reported that several bricks of heroin, along with $4,000 in cash and a handgun, were discovered in the city's Prospect neighborhood around 4 a.m. Friday. An arrest warrant has been issued for the man be­lieved to be the owner or renter of the two homes raided.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Comedy night targets serious problem

    Animal advocates are using comedy to take aim at a serious problem.
    The third annual Funny Fundraiser to benefit the Nardecchia Spay and Neuter Fund will be held at 8 p.m. May 16 at Ace’s, 316 Chestnut St. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.

    April 18, 2014

Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads