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Washington Township man allegedly makes threats, fights police

| Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, 12:02 a.m.

A Washington Township man is in jail, accused of causing two violent weekend confrontations, one in which he dragged a movie theater employee by car through the theater's parking lot and the other in which he tried to disarm state troopers, according to investigators.

Michael Patrick Haugh, 38, of Washington Road, faces charges of terroristic threats and recklessly endangering another person as a result of an incident spurred by a custody exchange on Saturday.

Later that day, police took him into custody after a struggle, and he faces charges of aggravated assault, disarming law enforcement, resisting arrest, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct, authorities said.

About 11:45 a.m. Saturday, an argument began during a custody exchange in the parking lot of Wynnsong Theater along Route 22 in Salem, police said.

Haugh threatened to slit the throat of the woman with whom he was arguing, police said, and he showed her a pocket knife.

A movie theater employee heard the woman calling for help.

The employee said he would call police, and he reached into the car to remove the child, according to an affidavit of probable cause. Haugh then pulled away with the employee hanging in the right rear door, dragging him around the parking lot before he was able to get out of the car.

Haugh then fled the scene.

At 6:30 that evening, state police were sent to Barnes & Noble in Hempfield to search for Haugh.

As police tried to identify the man, he made a movement toward his pocket, and police secured his arms and told him to surrender, a police report states.

Instead, Haugh resisted arrest, a large scuffle ensued, and Haugh tried to disarm troopers of their Tasers, according to police.

Two officers then stunned Haugh to subdue him.

“Our troopers had to take physical control,” state police spokesman Steve Limani said.

Police said Haugh caused $500 in damage to the store.

Neither troopers nor the suspect were hurt, Limani said.

In the movie theater incident, he's jailed in lieu of $25,000 straight bond and faces a preliminary hearing Wednesday in front of Export District Judge Charles Conway.

In the bookstore incident, he's jailed in lieu of $100,000 straight bond. A preliminary hearing will be held on Feb. 5 in front of Hempfield District Judge James Falcon.

Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or rskena@tribweb.com.

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