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Monessen K-9 cop nabs, bites suspect

| Friday, April 25, 2014, 1:48 p.m.

A Monessen man faces numerous charges after leading Monessen police on a high-speed chase throughout the city Wednesday.

The incident landed Jason Stinogle, 31, of 1340 Allison Ave., in Monongahela Valley Hospital in Carroll Township after he was bitten and detained by Monessen K-9 officer Uri.

Stinogle faces four counts of obedience to traffic control devices, two counts each of recklessly endangering another person, terroristic threats with intent to terrorize another, disorderly conduct, reckless driving and driving vehicle at a safe speed, and single counts of flight to avoid apprehension, illegally taunting police animal, resisting arrest, harassment-repeatedly alarm or annoy and fleeing or attempting to elude officers.

In a separate complaint, he was charged with two counts of indirect criminal contempt for violating a protection from abuse order.

Police were called to the Herman Mihalich Memorial Boat Launch in the city's east end just after 1:30 p.m. and met Melinda Sims.

She told Officer Aaron Thompson that she was taking a male friend to a medical appointment at the Monessen SPHS building and was driving east on Schoonmaker Avenue when Stinogle tried to get her to pull over.

Sims told police Stinogle did so in violation of a PFA order.

According to a criminal complaint, Stinogle exited his vehicle and threatened Sims and her companion, pounding on her vehicle at the intersection of First Street and Schoonmaker.

Sims told police she backed up and drove around Stinogle's vehicle. Stinogle allegedly followed her at a high speed, driving close to her vehicle.

She said Stinogle pulled next to her and then drove into the Eastgate Exxon lot.

Sims told police that after dropping off her friend at SPHS, she went to the boat launch to wait for her friend and to hide from Stinogle.

Stinogle allegedly pulled into the boat launch area at high speed, exited his vehicle and began pounding on her vehicle.

She told police Stinogle threatened her and asked where her friend was.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Stinogle began banging on rest room doors at the facility and shouting racial slurs, again threatening to assault Sims and the friend.

Sims said she began to dial 911 on her cell phone, prompting Stinogle to drive to the nearby Rent-A-Center parking lot.

Police said a witness similarly described the incident.

Officer James Franks located Stinogle and confirmed the PFA order was valid.

Franks told Stinogle he was being placed under arrest for the PFA violation and told him to park in an empty stall in the lot. Stinogle initially agreed, but then took off at high speed in his vehicle, police said.

Stinogle drove toward the The Valley Independent building and turned up Parente Boulevard past Rite Aid, Thompson said Thursday.

“There were cars all over the place down there. We had to weave in and out. There were a lot of people out near that intersection that he put in danger,” Thompson said.

According to the affidavit, Stinogle reached speeds in excess of 80 mph in the chase.

Police said Stinogle ran a stop sign at the intersection of Grand Boulevard and Marion Avenue, headed to his residence and exited the vehicle.

Thompson said he warned Stinogle to stop running or he would release the K-9 officer.

Stinogle allegedly ignored the warning and Uri apprehended him as he was opening the door to his residence.

The affidavit states that Stinogle was bitten in the left calf, causing him to fall on the living room floor.

“Uri had him on the arm pretty good,” Thompson said. “At that time, (Stinogle) was trying to grab Uri's mouth and snout.”

During the struggle with the dog, Thompson used his Taser to stun Stinogle.

“It was actually to avoid him getting a more serious injury,” Thompson said. “If he kept fighting with the dog, Uri could have shredded his arm.

Stinogle was transported to the police station, where he was treated by Mon Valley Emergency Medical Services for a wound to the leg and to have the Taser barbs removed.

Stinogle allegedly told police he wouldn't get into trouble because he sees a psychiatrist and “hears voices, and the voices in his head tell him what to do,” the affidavit states.

Mon Valley EMS transported Stinogle to the hospital.

“It was a pretty substantial wound to his left leg,” police Chief John Mandarino said.

A hospital spokeswoman confirmed Stinogle was still in the facility Thursday evening.

Charges were filed with Magisterial District Judge Joseph Dalfonso in Monessen. Mandarino said an arrest warrant will be served on Stinogle after he is released from the hospital.

Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jsellew@tribweb.com or 724-684-2667.

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