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St. Thomas man faces multiple charges after killing porcupine

July 31, 2008|By DON AINES

ST. THOMAS, Pa. -- Reports of an armed man with bloody clothing sent state troopers, a police helicopter and K-9 teams searching an area of St. Thomas Township on Wednesday, ending in the capture of a man who had killed a porcupine and argued with his girlfriend, Pennsylvania State Police said.

Joshua Robert Shatzer, 24, of 2685 Appleway, was charged with possession with intent to deliver marijuana, possession of marijuana, public drunkenness, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct, according to Magisterial District Judge Kelly Rock's office. He was jailed in Franklin County Jail on $35,000 bail.

Police went to the 1500 block of Appleway about 7 a.m. after getting several calls about a man armed with a rifle and a shotgun chasing a woman through a field, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

When a cruiser arrived with its lights and siren on, a man seen walking toward a parked minivan ran into a nearby orchard, police said.

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Shatzer was found at his mother's home on Appleway, police said. Shatzer told police he ran because there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest from the Franklin County Probation Department, police said.

The minivan on Appleway had a damaged passenger door with its window smashed by a large rock, police said. The van belonged to the father of Shatzer's girlfriend, Cpl. Paul McMullen said.

The van's owner consented to it being searched and police found about 20 grams of marijuana in a brass container, police said. Shatzer also told police he had been drinking apple wine and beer "all morning," the affidavit stated.

"Passers-by saw a man walking down the road wearing camouflage and carrying a long gun," McMullen said. He was also seen arguing with a woman, he said.

The van had run out of gas, and the woman, with whom Shatzer lived, was found safe and unharmed, McMullen said. The search for Shatzer lasted about an hour, he said.

During a search of the area, police found two discarded long guns and a camouflage jacket with blood stains, McMullen said. The blood apparently came from a porcupine that Shatzer killed, he said. The porcupine was found in the van.

Police consulted with the District Attorney's Office regarding the dead porcupine. Assistant District Attorney Angela Krom said the Pennsylvania Game Commission was being asked to look into that aspect of the incident.

Porcupines are protected in Pennsylvania and cannot be hunted on public or private land, according to the county Treasurer's Office.

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