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Ethnic intimidation charges filed in drive-by

June 24, 1998|By DON AINES

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Two men who Pennsylvania State Police said were the target of a drive-by shooting in March have been charged with ethnic intimidation in a February incident that authorities allege triggered the shooting.

Brad Criswell Beatty, 18, of Mercersburg, and Toby Allan Clevenger, 20, of Chambersburg, Pa., were charged with ethnic intimidation, simple assault, criminal conspiracy and harassment in an assault on Scott Edward Bell of Mercersburg.

Charged with the same offenses were Shawn Lee Metcalfe, 19, and Jeffrey Eugene Zeigler, 20, of Mercersburg, according to police. The charges were filed June 12 with District Justice David Hawbaker, according to Trooper Randy Kane.

The report said four men went to a party at a home on Gehr Road in St. Thomas Township in late February. At the house, racial comments were made and Bell, who is black, was assaulted, police said.

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On the night of March 11, six friends of Bell's, all of them white, drove in two cars to a trailer park in Fannettsburg, Pa., where Beatty and Clevenger lived, police said.

Beatty and two other men were in the mobile home when they got a call from a friend telling them that six teens were coming, police said. The three left the house just before the shooting, according to police.

Six shots from a .22-caliber handgun were fired into the mobile home, a car parked outside and a burn barrel, but no one was hurt, police said.

The six defendants in the drive-by shooting, ranging in age from 16 to 18, were charged as adults with seven offenses, including aggravated and simple assault, criminal conspiracy and firearms violations, according to court records.

Charged in the drive-by shooting were Daniel C. Putt, 16, and Javier Maldonado, 17, both of Mercersburg; Timothy K. Messner, 17, Bradley A. Walls, 18, and Bobby L. Wagaman, 18, all of Chambersburg; and Freddie F. Herr, 17, of St. Thomas, Pa., according to court records. All are out on bail.

The state police affidavit of probable cause said the gun used in the shooting belonged to Putt's father.

Kane said Beatty, Clevenger, Metcalfe and Zeigler were released on bail.

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