State police exchange fire with Youngwood man
A state trooper fired his weapon on Saturday night at a Youngwood man who allegedly broke into his girlfriend's home and pointed a loaded shotgun at police, according to court documents.
No one was injured during the incident in Pine Garden Apartments on Route 981 in Loyalhanna Township.
Police said Travis Clinton Hensell, 40, and the 37-year-old woman argued earlier Saturday, and Hensell had threatened to commit suicide while the woman and her two children watched. He is being held in the Westmoreland County Prison on $100,000 bail on attempted homicide and related charges.
It isn't the first time Hensell has been arrested on charges of breaking into a girlfriend's apartment. He pleaded guilty in 1998 to setting fire to a Latrobe duplex where a girlfriend lived in 1997, according to court records.
The Loyalhanna victim was on the phone with police about 9:30 p.m. Saturday to report a threatening text message she received from Hensell when the suspect allegedly broke a window and entered the apartment, according to an affidavit of probable cause. The woman and her 4- and 10-year-old children were able to flee safely, police said.
Troopers Nicholas Pelc and Paul Brown stood at the apartment's partially open door and ordered Hensell to surrender.
“Both troopers then heard Hensell say ‘I have a shotgun and shells, come on in and get me,' ” Trooper Owen Leonard wrote in the affidavit.
Hensell appeared in a hallway, pointing a 12-gauge shotgun at the two troopers,Leonard wrote. Pelc fired his rifle once in the suspect's direction and then, as both troopers exited the building, a shotgun blast was heard from inside the apartment, according to the affidavit.
Hensell later was taken into custody and was arraigned on Sunday morning by on-call District Judge Michael Mahady.
Hensell is charged with two counts each of attempted homicide and aggravated assault, five counts of simple assault, four counts of terroristic threats, three counts of reckless endangerment and single counts of burglary, criminal trespass and discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure.
A Feb. 3 preliminary hearing before District JudgeJason Buczak is scheduled.
On Oct. 9, 1997, Hensell set fire to a duplex where his then-22-year-old ex-girlfriend and her young son lived. Police said Hensell trashed the woman's apartment, and he was found walking along railroad tracks shortly after the blaze broke out. No one was injured.
Hensell was sentenced in November 1998 to serve one to two years in the Westmoreland County Prison and five years of probation, according to court records.
He was sentenced to three to six months on a drug paraphernalia possession charge in 2007.
Hensell was charged in two 2010 cases with simple assault and harassment in connection with incidents in Unity Township. The charges were either dismissed or withdrawn at preliminary hearings, according to online court records.
Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reachedat 724-837-5374 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.
- Bodies of Kochu, Gray found in Ohio River in West Virginia
- Penguins’ protracted slump continues with 5-2 loss at Carolina
- Hays eagle egg breaks; unclear if chick was born
- Narduzzi set to begin more critical evaluations during Pitt football spring drills
- Police end standoff with New Kensington man
- About face: Pirates’ Burnett now digging the shifts
- Pitt adds quarterback recruit from Cincinnati
- Brownsville man killed in 1-vehicle crash
- North Buffalo man charged with distributing child porn
- Pittsburgh angles to keep Heinz headquarters in merger
- Sestak’s use of rank violates military’s code of ethics