Connellsville robber who blamed talking cat sentenced to prison
A Fayette County man who allegedly told police a talking cat convinced him to steal a car, rob a bank and ram a police car was sentenced to up to five years in prison and ordered to undergo a mental health assessment.
Judge John F. Wagner Jr. imposed the 2 1⁄2- to 5-year sentence on James Anthony Shroyer, 51, of Connellsville as part of a plea bargain in which Shroyer entered guilty pleas to charges that included aggravated assault, robbery and receiving stolen property.
Shroyer on Thursday asked the judge to order the mental health assessment because he is “seeing things and hearing voices.” At the time of his arrest in March, Shroyer told troopers he embarked on the mini crime spree at the urging of a talking cat, according to a criminal complaint.
Police said Shroyer stole a Chevy Cavalier in Connellsville March 28 and drove it to the First National Bank on Indian Head Road in Springfield Township. He covered his face, entered the bank, pointed a concealed item at a teller and demanded cash.
Police said Shroyer dropped a plastic bag filled with cash as he exited through the bank's front door, scattering $582 in 50s, 20s, 10s and other denominations.
Shroyer fled south on Route 711 in the stolen car, turning onto Rassler Run Road when a state trooper began to pursue him. Police said Shroyer backed the car into the front of the pursuing state police vehicle and then fled down Fairview Road. He was taken into custody when he lost control of the car on Fairview Road, causing the pursuing police car to hit the stolen car.
Police said Shroyer had $990 in cash when they arrested him.
During an interview with troopers at the Uniontown barracks, Shroyer told them a “cat told him to take the car and get the money with the plastic gun.” According to a criminal complaint, Shroyer told the officers he took the Cavalier when the same cat “jumped up on the car and told him to steal it.”
Shroyer told the troopers he rammed the patrol car, according to the complaint, because the “cat was telling him to hit the cops.”
In addition to the prison sentence and mental health evaluation, Shroyer was ordered to pay $1,572 in restitution to the bank.
Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 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.
- Ailing youngster has wish fulfilled in day with Masontown K-9 officer
- Hopwood bank robbery suspect agrees to tentative plea bargain
- Fayeette man’s statements admissable at trial in death of toddler daughter, judge rules
- Protection-from-abuse orders public again in Fayette
- Man to serve prison sentence for Fayette County rock attack
- Air conditioner replaced at Fayette County’s jail annex
- Connellsville area poverty simulation opens people’s eyes
- Security tightened at Fayette courthouse; Westmoreland says its procedures are sufficient
- Connellsville considers axing paid firefighters
- 3 men to stand trial over runaway Latrobe foster children
- Fayette jail foes want county to be stricken as intervenor in case