Suspect arrested in attempted luring of Derry teen
An Indiana County man was jailed on Monday on charges of child luring because a Derry teenager, who allegedly was targeted last week, identified the suspect in a photo line-up.
John P. Shawley, 67, whose last known address is Saltsburg, is charged by Derry police Sgt. James Friscarella with child luring in an incident that took place about 6:30 p.m. Aug. 5 on the Y Street Bridge involving a teenage girl.
Shawley is suspected of approaching two women in Blairsville in separate incidents in the past month. Blairsville police Chief Michael Allman said criminal charges in those cases will not be filed because the victims of the unwanted advances are adults.
“However, we have had some people come forward and are still gathering information on some other incidents, and we are looking at potential charges ... after we consult with the district attorney's office,” Allman said.
Derry District Judge Mark Bilik arraigned Shawley in the Westmoreland case. He is being held in the county jail, having failed to post $15,000 bail.
The girl, whose age was not released, reported that an elderly man driving a white, four-door car slowed down and attempted to talk her into entering his vehicle as she walked on the bridge.
“Hey, honey. Come over here,” the man reportedly said.
Shawley then turned his vehicle around and approached her again as she walked.
“Come on, honey. Just get in the car,” Shawley allegedly said.
The victim told Friscarella “that she became scared for her well-being and ran towards her residence.”
During the investigation, Friscarella reported in an affidavit of probable cause, Shawley was seen driving his white, four-door 2008 Cadillac in the area a few weeks after a similar incident in Blairsville.
Friscarella learned Shawley matched the victim's description of the suspect.
The victim was shown photographs of seven people; she identified Shawley, Friscarella said.
Friscarella said one of the women approached outside the Sheetz store on East Market Street in Blairsville also identified Shawley from the photo array.
Shawley's preliminary hearing before Bilik is scheduled for Aug. 20.
Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-850-2860.