To place your ad, email tubecitytiger@gmail.com. Ads start at $1 per day, minimum seven days.

Police Log: Contractor Accused of Fraud

By Staff Reports
The Tube City Almanac
June 10, 2020
Posted in: Crime and Police News

• Arrest records published here were provided by the McKeesport Police Department.
• Not all arrest records are published.
• An arrest does not mean the person identified has been convicted of a crime.
• All people arrested are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Fraud Charges: A Westmoreland County contractor faces charges after McKeesport police allege that he failed to complete work on a Haler Heights couple’s home.

Lee J. Howatineck, 64, is charged with theft by deception and engaging in deceptive or fraudulent business practices. Howatineck is free pending a preliminary hearing Aug. 17 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi.

Police said that a couple on Halsey Drive contracted with Howatineck in March to reconstruct the deck on their home at a cost of $2,700, paying $1,350 upfront.

Police allege that Howatineck substituted a different contract that included less work than the victims originally paid for, and then failed to complete the new work to a satisfactory standard.

Child Welfare Charges: A city man is being held in the Allegheny County Jail in lieu of bond after police allege he left his young children, ages 3 and 5, alone at home while he went to purchase cigars.

McKeesport police said an officer on patrol early on the morning of May 22 observed a car with no brake lights at the intersection of Sumac Street and Beaver Street. When the officer attempted to stop the car, police allege, the driver continued to a home on Scott Street.

Police said a check of the driver’s information indicated that he was wanted on three active arrest warrants and that his license had been suspended. According to a police report, no adults were present in the home and the two children were found crying in the kitchen. Police said the children were returned to their mother’s custody.

The suspect, 36, is charged by McKeesport police with endangering the welfare of children, driving with a suspended license, failing to yield to an emergency vehicle and driving without working taillights. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 6 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi.

Tube City Almanac does not identify suspects in crimes involving juveniles if doing so would reveal the juveniles’ names.

Burglary Charges: Two city residents are being held in the Allegheny County Jail in lieu of bond in connection with a May 23 burglary of the rent office at Hi View Gardens apartment complex.

Jacquetta Ashley Hays, 34, and Edward E. Houston, 51, are charged by McKeesport police with burglary, criminal trespass, endangering the welfare of children and giving false identification to law enforcement. Preliminary hearings are scheduled for Hays on July 20 and for Houston on July 27, both before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi.

Police were alerted by a burglar alarm of suspicious activity inside the office, according to a report. A woman later identified as Hays was observed exiting the office when police arrived, while police allege that Houston was observed fleeing the scene.

Check Fraud Charged: A Brookline woman is being held in the Allegheny County Jail pending a preliminary hearing on charges that she forged checks from a Dravosburg business totalling nearly $6,000.

Cierra M. Crow, 25, is accused of altering checks that were sent to a Washington County company, and cashing them at three different bank branches in Pittsburgh on Jan. 29.

McKeesport police said Crow also is suspected of attempting to cash a fourth check from the same Dravosburg business, but a bank employee became suspicious and confiscated the check, then called the business owner.

Crow is charged by McKeesport police with theft by unlawful taking, forgery and passing bad checks. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 23 before Magisterial District Judge Richard Olasz Jr. in West Mifflin.

Firearm, Drug Charges: Gordon S. Blackwell, 28, of McKeesport, was charged by McKeesport police with carrying a firearm without a license, unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance following an arrested at 8:27 p.m. May 26 in the city’s East End. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 27 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi.

David Devon Johnson, 22, of Pittsburgh’s Chartiers neighborhood was arrested following an incident at 7:37 p.m. May 27 at Building 43, Crawford Village. Johnson is charged by McKeesport police with possessing a firearm without a license, unlawful possession of a firearm, receiving stolen property, possession of a controlled substance and tampering with physical evidence. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 27 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi.

DUI Charges: Amie M. Hughes, 41, of McKeesport was charged by city police with driving under the influence following a traffic stop on the morning of May 16 near the intersection of Patterson and Stewart streets. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 10 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi.

Robert H. Morrison, 48, of McKeesport was charged by city police with driving under the influence, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license following a traffic stop on the evening of May 16 near the corner of Bowman and Lime streets. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 6 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi.

Originally published June 10, 2020.

In other news:
"City Seeks Funds for …" || "Council OK’s Demoliti…"