Marshall man held on charge of trying to hit Lower Burrell police officer
By Chuck Biedka
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
A Marshall man on Tuesday was ordered to stand trial for allegedly trying to run down a Lower Burrell police officer who was trying to arrest him earlier this month.
But the suspect, Brandon Elliot Croyle, 26, asked a district judge to dismiss all charges because he claimed to have “diplomatic immunity.”
Croyle, who is also charged with speeding, drunken driving and a host of other charges from a Jan. 13 incident, also told District Judge Cheryl Peck Yakopec that he should be freed because said that's what “the people” want.
Croyle represented himself at his preliminary hearing Tuesday, where he entered a not guilty plea. Croyle is free after posting $20,000 bond.
At the hearing, Croyle declined to ask any questions of the arresting officer.
Instead, he read a statement telling Yakopec that he is a “member of the people”; he called on her to “dismiss and expunge” all charges against him “because that is the wish of the people.”
Yakopec thought otherwise.
Minutes earlier, Lower Burrell Patrolman Brendon R. Noll, the alleged victim, was the only person to testify.
Noll testified that he saw Croyle and a passenger in a 1999 Ford Crown Victoria being driven at 68 mph in a 35 mph zone on Route 780, at Nanak Drive, just before 2 a.m.
Noll testified that he followed the car into New Kensington near Valley High School and back onto a nearby two-lane, winding road where it almost collided with an oncoming car before circling back to Route 780.
Noll testified that he caught up with Croyle near Lori Drive in Lower Burrell and when it appeared safe to make a traffic stop, turned on his red lights in a bid to stop him.
Croyle turned into a driveway, but put the car into reverse and backed onto Route 780 toward the police car, Noll testified.
“I was in fear that my car would become a death trap,” Noll testified. “So I got out, went to the rear of my car, pulled my pistol and ordered him to stop.”
Croyle and his passenger, Mark G. Lacava II, 27, of Valencia, stopped, but Noll said they didn't follow orders to keep their hands on their heads and get out of the car.
“Croyle kept yelling at me, ‘Are you a public servant? What is your authority?'” Noll testified.
Two officers arrived. Noll testified that another officer tried to pull Croyle from the car, but Croyle “braced himself and resisted arrest.”
Field sobriety tests couldn't be done on Croyle because of his behavior, according to Noll.Croyle eventually was handcuffed and put in Noll's police car. But he slipped his hands and handcuffs from behind him to in front of him, so police handcuffed him again and shackled his ankles.
Officers noticed that the registration sticker was actually cardboard. And they discovered that Croyle's license was suspended for drunken driving and the license plate on the Crown Victoria belongs on another car.
Noll testified that once Croyle was taken to the New Kensington police holding cell, Croyle refused to cooperate, including taking a breathalyzer test and having blood work drawn.
Police say they found marijuana and related paraphernalia in the car.
In addition to other charges, Croyle faces charges of reckless endangerment and being incapable of safe driving due to alcohol use. He also is charged with driving with a suspended license, having a fake registration sticker, not having insurance and resisting arrest.
Lacava faces numerous charges, among them possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, public drunkenness and disorderly conduct.
His preliminary hearing is scheduled for next month.
‘Dismiss and expunge'
As Croyle read from a statement, he told Yakopec he would refer the case to the “Superior Court of Westmoreland County” if the charges were not dismissed.
The Superior Court is a state appellate court based in Harrisburg. Westmoreland County Court is in Greensburg.
Near the end of his statement, Croyle declared that he has “diplomatic immunity” and that the case doesn't meet terms of “federal court procedure.”
He asked Yakopec if she was sworn to support the federal and state constitutions and if so, why not do what the “people” wanted.
Instead, Yakopec found that there was enough evidence to hold all of the charges against Croyle for court.
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Manufacturing course opens Knoch students’ eyes
- RV dealer seeks ‘breathing room’ in Allegheny Township
- Pension woes push A-K Valley school districts to seek higher tax limits
- Man to face DUI-homicide trial for Route 28 wreck
- Alle-Kiski fish fry organizers try to hook customers
- Alle-Kiski car dealers ready for thaw
- Leechburg biology teacher earned students’ respect
- East Vandergrift sewer project could begin the week of March 31
- 3 more charged in Harrison beating
- Saxonburg Dollar General to move, expand
- Suspected Tarentum heroin dealer remains on the run