The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

January 9, 2013

Evening News Brief | Homeless man held on stolen ambulance charge

BELLE VERNON — Police have arrested a homeless man on a charge of receiving stolen property after they say he was found gassing up an ambulance that had been reported stolen from a western Pennsylvania service hours before.

Nineteen-year-old Jonathan David Miracle was awaiting arraignment Wednesday on a charge of receiving stolen property after police say they found him standing outside the ambulance at a BFS Foods convenience store in Rostraver Township about 2:20 a.m. That's more than 10 miles away from Swissvale, where the Eastern Area PreHospital Service ambulance was reported stolen to police the night before.

An employee who answered the phone at the ambulance service says the executive director is not immediately available to comment.

Police tell the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the ambulance was properly stocked with equipment when officers arrived, though Miracle was not wearing ambulance gear.


Guilty plea in child's drain cleaner death

PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia man has been sentenced to 17 1/2 to 35 years in prison for killing a toddler he was babysitting by rubbing drain cleaner on him.

Thirty-six-year-old Aaron Pace pleaded guilty Wednesday to third-degree murder in the February 2010 death of 20-month-old Suliaman Kirkland.

Prosecutors say Pace sprinkled Drano crystals on a washcloth and rubbed it onto the child's skin because the boy was "fussing in the tub."

The toddler suffered severe burns and died in a hospital five days later.

Pace said he understood what he was doing by pleading guilty, though defense attorney Fred Goodman said his client's IQ was between 57 and 68.

Members of Pace's family were ejected from the courtroom for swearing and threatening the Kirkland family.


Ex-Seton Hall star Herb Pope to trial for gun

BEAVER — A former western Pennsylvania high school basketball star who graduated from Seton Hall earlier this year has been ordered to stand trial on charges of terroristic threats and public drunkenness for allegedly pulling a gun on a bartender on New Year's Eve.

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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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