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Donora man in custody, second suspect wanted in West Newton home invasion

Paul Peirce
| Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, 11:42 a.m.
Dakota R. Johnston
Dakota R. Johnston

A Donora man was arrested and a second Washington County man is wanted in connection with a daylight home invasion Thursday in West Newton.

Dakota R. Johnston, 22, surrendered his handgun to West Newton police Chief Gary Indof after he was spotted walking along the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks shortly after the 11:15 a.m. assault and robbery at a residence in the 100 block of North Second Street.

The 24-year-old woman suffered a gash to her forehead when Johnston and Tyler J. Hall, 22, of Monongahela forced their way into her home, police allege in an affidavit filed with Rostraver District Judge Charles Christner.

Indof said he went to the home after receiving reports of a woman “hollering for help.”

After forcing their way into the residence, the pair carried out a television set “which she later located in the rear of her yard,” then fled as police approached, the victim told Indof.

Police obtained an arrest warrant for Hall overnight from East Huntingdon District Judge Charles Moore. Police described Hall as a black male about 5 feet, 11 inches tall, weighing about 170 pounds.

Johnston was holding an unloaded Glock .45 caliber handgun when he was arrested on North Second Street and surrendered without incident, Indof said in the affidavit.

Johnston was arraigned before Moore on charges of aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, criminal trespass, theft, simple assault, receiving stolen property, reckless endangerment, carrying a firearm without a license and criminal conspiracy. Moore ordered him held in the Westmoreland County Prison after he failed to post $100,000 bond.

Indof said police in Monongahela are investigating whether the pair may have committed a burglary there earlier Thursday.

Anyone with information on Hall's whereabouts should call 911.

Johnston's preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 25 before Christner.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2860, ppeirce@tribweb.com or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.

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