Westmoreland sheriff's Facebook page helps catch 'most wanted' suspects
By Rich Cholodofsky
Published: Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
More than 2,100 Facebook users “like” the Facebook page of Westmoreland County Sheriff Jonathan Held.
But about 40 captured fugitives are not so fond of the social networking site used to track down the “most wanted” suspects.
Held announced on Friday that his staff recently arrested four of those fugitives after receiving tips on Facebook.
“It seems my Facebook page went viral on this. Word is just getting out,” Held said.
Since the page was published in May, about 40 fugitives identified on the site have been apprehended. Held said as many as several hundred suspects have been captured by his department since he took office in January.
Eugene Askey, 37, of New Alexandria, was wanted in six court cases for alleged bad checks, home improvement fraud, deceptive business practices and theft and three domestic relations warrants.
Held said a tip through Facebook alerted deputies that Askey ran a motor vehicle speed stop in his hometown, where deputies apprehended him on Oct. 5.
Adam Lynch, 23, of Mt. Pleasant was captured on Oct. 10 when the sheriff's department received a tip that he was living in an apartment building there. Held said Lynch was wanted to face charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment, harassment, burglary, forgery, theft and receiving stolen property.
U.S. marshals took Joseph Patterson, 32, of Greensburg into custody in Ohio on Oct. 11. Patterson, according to Held, is facing charges of arson, reckless burning or exploding, and six counts of reckless endangerment. He was apprehended on a Facebook tip forwarded by Held's office.
Held said Patterson posted $50,000 bail in Ohio but is still facing an extradition hearing to be returned to Westmoreland County.
Matthew Hanan, 36, whose address is listed as Apollo on court documents, was captured Oct. 11 when deputies following a Facebook tip learned he was living in the Leechburg area.
Hanan is facing charges of aggravated assault, drunken driving and drug offenses, Held said.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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