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Man granted immediate parole after serving time for 2016 borough standoff

By Dan Miller

danmiller@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 4/10/18

A Middletown man who had been in Dauphin County Prison since Oct. 1, 2016 after keeping police at bay for several hours during an armed standoff was granted immediate parole after pleading guilty in …

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Man granted immediate parole after serving time for 2016 borough standoff

Posted

A Middletown man who had been in Dauphin County Prison since Oct. 1, 2016 after keeping police at bay for several hours during an armed standoff was granted immediate parole after pleading guilty in county court on April 9.

Anthony DiFrancesco, 39, was sentenced to five years of probation by Judge William Tully. DiFrancesco was given credit for having served 556 days in county prison since his arrest.

He also must meet several other conditions of the plea deal sought by the district attorney’s office, including that he not possess firearms, not consume drugs and alcohol, and follow all court-mandated treatment.

DiFrancesco pleaded guilty to terroristic threats, recklessly endangering another person, possession of a weapon, disorderly conduct, and discharging a gun within the borough.

He had also been charged with criminal attempt-aggravated assault, but that charge was downgraded to simple assault. The simple assault charge was subsequently withdrawn.

According to arrest papers filed by borough police, the standoff began shortly after police were called to DiFrancesco’s residence in the 100 block of East High Street to help emergency medical personnel who were trying to get DiFrancesco’s father into an ambulance.

His father was having symptoms of a heart attack, police said.

Police arrived to find DiFrancesco holding a .357 Magnum revolver to his head and threatening to kill himself. At one point a police officer accidentally fired his gun, prompting DiFrancesco to fire a round in response.

The round from DiFrancesco landed in front of a borough police officer, but the officer was not injured, according to arrest papers.

By this time police had been able to get inside the residence and get DiFrancesco’s father out so he could be taken to the hospital, where he was treated and released.

After another three hours of negotiations with DiFrancesco, officers from the county Crisis Response Team ended the standoff by firing a non-lethal 40 mm rubber bullet that struck DiFrancesco.

Tully told DiFrancesco from the bench that success of the plea deal now lies entirely with DiFrancesco being “100 percent compliant” with the conditions being imposed by the court.

The judge also noted that DiFrancesco is a veteran, and that his case had been considered for the county veterans court, however DiFrancesco was viewed as too unstable at the time.

“You’re finally ready to step up and plant that flag again,” Tully told DiFrancesco.