The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

October 24, 2013

Charges filed in shooting at Dysart bar

DYSART — A Clearfield County man is charged as the gunman in a drive-by shooting that wounded one man at a Dysart bar.

Police say Russell Scott Shick, 56, of Beccaria Township, was kicked out of the bar, George’s Tavern, earlier that day for making vulgar comments to a bartender and threatened her husband on his way out the door.

“You want to bring a knife to a gunfight,” Shick allegedly told the man as he was being told to leave, a criminal complaint shows.

Shick now faces four felony counts of aggravated assault, including one for firing the round that traveled through a bar wall and struck Robert J. Edgar Jr., 30, of Coalport, in the hip.

Shick was released on $20,000 unsecured bond after arraignment Thursday.

He said he will fight the charges.

“Someone pulled a knife on me and it escalated from there,” Shick said during a telephone interview, adding he did not want to comment further.

Police said witnesses described Shick as “belligerent” when he entered George’s earlier Oct. 16 before the shooting.

One witness said Shick announced he was “in the mood to kick everybody’s ass,” police said.

Trooper Kenneth Durbin said a bartender apparently refused to serve Shick a drink after he tossed a pack of cigarettes on the bar floor and told her to “kiss my big fat belly.”

It started an exchange of words that led the bartender’s husband – who was using a folding knife to open packages of Halloween decorations – to point the knife toward Shick and tell him to show more respect, police said.

Shick allegedly made the “gunfight” threat as he passed the man, who had already put the knife away, police said.

Shick left the scene, but then apparently returned shortly before midnight, Durbin wrote in search warrant application documents filed Oct. 18.

Witnesses heard a vehicle slowing down on Route 53, Durbin said.

Then they heard several loud “pops,” he added.

“They all dove to the floor,” Durbin wrote.

One man saw muzzle flashes, just moments before the vehicle sped off heading south on Route 53, Durbin wrote.

State police said a gunman fired at least three 9 mm shots from the roadway into the tavern’s interior.

Two ended up in the pool table room, one striking a folding table, police said.

The one that struck Edgar passed through a booth in the bar, Durbin said.

Police said Shick brought a 9 mm rifle to the bar a day before the Oct. 16 shooting that matches the style and caliber that was used in the crime.

State police, after executing a search warrant, recovered a 9 mm rifle from Shick’s Beccaria home, Assistant District Attorney Gary Jubas said.

The weapon, statements made at the bar and interviews at the scene led police to file the aggravated assault charges and other felonies in the case, which originally was being investigated as an attempted homicide, he said.

Edgar, initially taken to UPMC Altoona, was recovering from the gunshot wound as of earlier this week, investigators said.

Shick, who also faces terroristic threats and counts of discharging a weapon into an occupied structure, said he has secured Pittsburgh attorney Leonard Berger to represent him.

A preliminary hearing before District Judge Charity Nileski is set for Oct. 31, but Shick said that is likely to be rescheduled.

David Hurst is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tddavidhurst.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Halfway house inmates can ease back into society

    Prison life can be a time warp.
    When inmates are locked away – for months, years, decades – society moves forward: Technology evolves, major events occur, pop culture changes. From a personal perspective, families and friends live their lives: weddings, funerals, graduations, births, retirements. All the while, criminals bide their time, existing in a regimented world of cement walls and metal bars.
    Almost all of them eventually rejoin society, though.

    April 19, 2014

  • Crime board took aim at house

    Johnstown’s unemployment rate is around 8 percent.
    One-third of the city’s population lives in poverty.
    Burglaries and assaults significantly increased between 2010 and 2012. There is a thriving illegal trade in heroin and prescription drugs.
    Given those conditions, it can be challenging for Johnstown Community Corrections Center residents to find jobs when living in the facility or to avoid falling back into a criminal lifestyle upon their release.

    April 19, 2014

  • Homicides linked to center

    Three homicides that took place in Johnstown last year involved either a suspect or victim who previously resided in the Community Corrections Center.
    Police Chief Craig Foust confirmed the name of one victim, who spent almost two months in the facility on Washington Street during 2007, a time period verified by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

    April 19, 2014

  • bachota Volunteers helping to spruce up community

    Walls and ceilings inside the Cambria County Library look clean and bright with fresh new coats of paint on them.
    The work was recently done by inmates from the Johnstown Community Corrections Center.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • alanna Hartzok targets income disparity

    Alanna Hartzok described herself as being a conservative progressive.
    The Franklin County resident said she is in favor of conserving environmental resources, education opportunities, Social Security and Medicare, while wanting to progressively address wealth inequality, health care and taxation.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Schools rise to leadership challenge

    Forest Hills and Cambria Heights high school students put the spirit of healthy competition toward a good cause and picked up some lessons in leadership along the way.

    April 19, 2014

  • KATEY LADIKA Student’s photos win awards

    A Forest Hills High School junior has captured several awards in a high school arts and writing contest that has identified greats such as Truman Capote and Andy Warhol.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Siehl JIM SIEHL | Music to my ears

    Seldom has $15 produced such a high level of entertainment as it did a few weeks ago when I found myself in the second row just left of center keeping back the tears once again during my third live performance of “Les Miserables.”

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michele Bender Bye, bye, Easter birdies

    Animals fascinated my mom. Riding the train between Johnstown and Philly, she saw horses, pigs, sheep, cows … a Mattel See ’n Say of farm critters.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill Eggert Columnist Photo Travelogue of terror features Johnstown area

    A historic week will surround the venerable Silver Drive-In come the beginning of May.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

Poll

Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads