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Tips help police ID man in theft of 3 cans of beer

Middletown Police Chief John Bey was pleased to report that tips from the public helped the local department track down and cite a local resident in connection with the theft of several cans of beer from a local beverage distributor.

James Anthony Schroll, 37, of Middletown, has been cited for retail theft on allegations he took three cans of beer from Corby’s Beverage, E. Main St., on June. 12. "The camera inside the store revealed a white male opening a case of beer, removing three cans of beer and placing them in his crotch," Bey said.

Middletown Police issued an electronic alert via the Nixle system seeking assistance from the public to solve the case. The alert featured several photos provided from the business’s video surveillance system. Tips from the community helped police identify Schroll, Bey said.

When police contacted Schroll, "he admitted that it is him in the photo and he admitted to the theft," Bey said.

Schroll is scheduled to appear before District Judge David Judy at a preliminary hearing on Aug. 1.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 June 2016 15:40

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Lower Swatara Twp. Police News: 6/22/2016

Following is a compilation of reports from the Lower Swatara Twp. Police Department. Please be aware all those charged/cited are presumed innocent unless proven otherwise in a court of law.


DUI charge

Stephen J. Huber Jr., 33, of the 2000 block of Cameron Mill Rd., Parkton, MD, has been charged with DUI - controlled substance, careless driving, failure to use signals when turning, disregard lane of traffic, driving an unregistered vehicle and failure to have insurance, police report.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 June 2016 15:13

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Closer to hiring two cops, one public safety director



Lower Swatara Twp. is moving closing to hiring two police officers and a public safety director. That announcement was made by township manager Anne Shambaugh at the June 15 meeting of the township’s board of commissioners.

Shambaugh told the board background checks have been completed on a list of candidates for its two current openings for patrolmen. She said commissioners will be tasked with interviewing four candidates for the two positions. A date for the interviews has yet to be set.

Shambaugh also told the commissioners the township received six applicants for its opening for a public safety director, a new position that will replace the chief of police. 

Related to the police department, Shambaugh also announced that one current police officer will be taking an extended medical leave, which will necessitate using a detective as a patrolman for an unspecified amount of time. Sometime in July, one of the police department’s two criminal investigators, Detective Ryan Gartland, will begin shifts as an uniformed patrol officer.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 June 2016 15:01

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Infant girl abused to frame father

An investigation sparked by a probe of “strange injuries” suffered by an infant girl developed into a case alleging child abuse committed by a Lower Swatara Twp. resident. diana benitez reyes WEBDiana Benitez-Reyes

Diana Benitez-Reyes, 23, of Manny Dr., has been charged with repeatedly burning her daughter causing injuries that would have inflicted intense pain and possibly caused permanent scarring, police said. Investigators further alleged the accused blamed the father for inflicting the injuries so she could have his custody rights removed. 

Benitez-Reyes was arrested on June 15 and charged with aggravated assault of a victim less than 6 years old, endangering the welfare of children and making false reports of child abuse, police report. The first two charges are felonies.

A criminal complaint filed by Lower Swatara Twp. Police detective Ryan Gartland notes the child, 10 months old at the time, was seen during a series of medical visits and treated for various problems on her skin, several of which were chemical or heat burns. An affidavit of probable cause noted a representative of Cumberland County Children and Youth told police Benitez-Reyes “had been taking her daughter to the doctor frequently with strange injuries. These doctor visits always occurred after custody visits with the father.”

Dr. Lori Fraiser, a doctor who specializes in child abuse pediatrics at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, is quoted in the affidavit saying “(These injuries) would have caused (the child) substantial pain, and as a result, impairment. There remains a risk that these will cause permanent scarring. These facts support a diagnosis of child abuse.”

Benitez-Reyes took the infant to the emergency department at Hershey because of two scratches she claimed she had found on Jan. 31 following her daughter’s visit with her father, according to the affidavit. 

Benitez-Reyes filed a request for a protection from abuse order Feb. 2 against the child’s father as well as members of his family. The affidavit noted that during a hearing for the PFA Benitez-Reyes stated “I don’t trust them. I never did. I will do whatever it takes for my child not to be around them.” The request for the PFA was subsequently denied. 

The victim’s father became suspicious of Benitez-Reyes and all the doctor visits and “began to take photographs of his daughter before he would exchange custody with Diana,” Detective Gartland said in the affidavit. “This was to protect himself from false accusations of child abuse.”

Benitez-Reyes subsequently sought treatment for blistering on her daughter’s legs allegedly caused by burns multiple times in late February and early March, the affidavit noted. During those visits, the accused told medical personnel she was concerned the child’s father had injured his daughter intentionally, the affidavit continued.

The affidavit noted a series of three visits to the doctors in a period of five days by Benitez-Reyes reporting injuries, with her telling medical personnel on March 6, 13 and 20 her daughter had suffered a burn on her arm, burns to her back and ankle and broken skin, bruises and blisters on both feet, respectively. 

Gartland noted an agent with Cumberland County Children and Youth Services assisted the child’s father with documenting the child’s lack of injuries prior to returning her into the custody of Benitez-Reyes after the father’s visits. 

District Judge Michael J. Smith arraigned Benitez-Reyes on June 15  and released her on $50,000 unsecured bail with the condition that she may have no contact with her daughter. She is scheduled for a preliminary hearing 1:30 p.m. July 6 before Smith. The child remains in custody of her father.

Gartland said the case involves the youngest victim of any he has ever investigated. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 June 2016 14:27

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Forgiveness for people behind in child/support

Parents who are behind in their child or spousal support payments can pay up without fear of arrest and can possibly recover their suspended drivers’ license thanks to a five-day amnesty program under way in Dauphin County.

“It’s an olive branch to people who fear jail time,” said Dauphin Co. Court of Common Pleas Judge Jeannine Turgeon, who presides over domestic relations cases.  “We want parents to not only pay their child support, but we hope they will become an active part of their children’s lives. This is a brief window of opportunity, leading up to Father’s Day, and we urge parents to take advantage of it.”

To be eligible, individuals must appear at the Domestic Relations Office, 25 S. Front St., eighth floor, Harrisburg, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. between June 13 and June 17. They must make a payment on their arrears and develop a payment plan for any balance owed.

They may execute a wage attachment if they are working, or an automatic recurring withdrawal if self-employed, or they may provide medical documentation of any current medical conditions.

Currently, there are 482 cases with outstanding warrants and 679 cases with license suspensions.  Any individuals who have a support obligation and have questions or concerns about their case are encouraged to contact the county’s domestic relations office.

Contempt of court proceedings can begin after missing one month of child support payments.  On a single charge of contempt of court, a delinquent parent may be held in Dauphin Co. Prison or its work release center for up to six months with a purge amount calculated up to 26 weeks of past due child support.  

Arrest warrants for non-support are usually filed after defendants fail to show up for a contempt of court hearing or fail to make a court-ordered payment following such a hearing. Both plaintiffs and defendants are also notified by mail when an arrest warrant is issued.

For more information, delinquent clients may call (717) 255-2796 or contact the office by fax at (717) 780-6849.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 June 2016 15:19

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