The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

July 18, 2013

State in brief 7/19/2013

Man accused of damaging police cars

PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh police have jailed a sharp-dressed man on charges he smashed three police cars with a large metal C-clamp, and are trying to determine if literature he was carrying criticizing President Barack Obama had anything to do with the vandalism.

Zone 5 police Cmdr. Timothy O’Connor told WPXI-TV that 25-year-old Anton Orlichenko was wearing a dress shirt, pants and tie when he was seen smashing the parked cars about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. Online court records don’t list an attorney for Orlichenko, who was arraigned early Thursday on charges of criminal mischief and assault – allegedly for menacing officers who arrested him.

O’Connor said federal authorities will be notified even though police “don’t know if this was politically motivated.”

Because of that literature, police planned to notify the FBI and U.S. Secret Service of Orlichenko’s arrest.

Community considers ban on roosters

HAVERTOWN – A Philadelphia-area community is moving forward with a revised animal control ordinance that would include a ban on roosters.

Haverford Township commissioners have voted in favor of a revised ordinance that includes a prohibition on the birds, which some decry as a noisy nuisance. The Delaware County Daily Times reported the provision came after Commissioner Jane Hall expressed concern about a neighbor’s roosters. Commissioner Jeff Heilmann said there’s a similar ruckus in his ward.

The commission voted unanimously in favor of the changes.

Officials say the board will likely have more information when it considers a second reading of the ordinance next month. Officials say they don’t have an estimate on how many residents are raising chickens.

Caretaker facing trial in theft of old whiskey

GREENSBURG – The former live-in caretaker of a Pittsburgh-area mansion will stand trial on charges he drank more than $102,000 worth of old whiskey that he was supposed to be guarding.

A district judge on Wednesday ordered 62-year-old John Saunders of Irwin to trial on theft charges after hearing from the owner of the South Broadway Manor Bed and Breakfast.

The owner found nine

12-bottle cases of whiskey hidden in the century-old mansion built by industrialist J.P. Brennan after she bought it last year.

The Old Farm Pure Rye Whiskey was produced in the early 1900s and appraised at more than $2,000 a bottle.

After Saunders moved out last March, the owner discovered 52 empty bottles and police found Saunders’ saliva DNA on some of the bottles.

Saunders’ attorney argued the value of the whiskey was “pure speculation.”

Suspect in deaths on bail in fraud case

PHILADELPHIA – A man who allegedly struck and killed a Philadelphia woman and her three sons while drag racing in Philadelphia had been out on bail this year in a $3.6 million ambulance fraud case.

Khusen Akhmedov, 23, had also racked up four speeding tickets since 2009 and a charge of driving on a suspended license. He paid just a few hundred dollars to settle three of the speeding tickets, and was due in court on the other one next month.

Akhmedov, of Lancaster, now faces far more serious charges for allegedly mowing down 28-year-old Samara Banks and her boys late Tuesday as the family crossed a busy road notorious for both drag racing and pedestrian deaths.

Her oldest son, a 5-year-old, survived.

A judge set bail Thursday at $2.5 million each for Akhmedov and the other driver, 30-year-old Ahmen Holloman of Philadelphia, on third-degree murder, vehicular homicide and other charges. Prosecutors argue that they are equally responsible, given the alleged street racing.

In the unrelated ambulance-fraud case, federal authorities accuse Akhmedov and six others of recruiting nonemergency patients for trips in substandard ambulances, defrauding Medicare of $3.6 million.

He was released on $100,000 bail after the April indictment, which described him as an emergency medical technician.

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