Complaint against suspected rooster thief amended
A Fallowfield Township man accused of stealing a 16-foot fiberglass rooster from a Charleroi business had some of the most serious charges against him withdrawn.
Brody K. Nichols, 30, of 85 Ernest Ave., appeared Thursday morning before Magisterial District Judge Larry Hopkins on charges stemming from the alleged May 10 caper.
Nichols had been facing felony charges for allegedly stealing the giant rooster from Tim's Secret Treasures at 220 McKean Ave.
Charleroi Regional Police Officers Michael Leasure and Michael Carcella were on patrol 3:25 a.m. May 10 when they saw a black Dodge Ram at the corner of Washington Avenue and Fifth Street with the rooster in the bed of the truck.
A neighbor who lives across the street from the shop happened to be awake when the suspected rooster rustler arrived about 3 a.m. and notified police.
Police said they recognized Nichols when he got out of the truck to adjust the straps on the bird.
The police recognized the bird as one of the many large animal statues displayed outside the antiques store operated by Rhonda Jaquay and Tim Bradburn.
Police attempted to stop the truck as it turned onto Fifth Street. That's when the alleged driver, identified as Nichols, began a high-speed chase, according to the criminal complaint.
When the truck entered a dirt road at 13th Street, the statue fell out of the truck, causing both of its legs to break off. The owners told police the rooster was valued at $2,000.
Nichols was not apprehended after fleeing from police that night and was sent the charges via summons.
During Thursday's court proceeding, Nichols' attorney, Bradley M. Bassi of Charleroi, and Washington County Assistant District Attorney John Friedmann reached a tentative agreement.
Felony charges of aggravated assault, flight to avoid apprehension, and criminal trespass as well as two misdemeanor counts of recklessly endangering another person were withdrawn.
The complaint was amended to lower felony counts of theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property to misdemeanors. Nichols waived his right to a hearing on those charges, a felony count of fleeing or attempting to elude police and a misdemeanor count of criminal mischief.
Bassi said his client had no comment. Stacy Wolford is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-684-2640 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.