Smithton man charged in carjacking in Herminie
A Smithton man was jailed on $250,000 bond Tuesday morning for allegedly hijacking a sport utility vehicle with a woman and child inside in Herminie on Monday and attempting to carjack a second woman in Sewickley Township later in the day.
Jason M. Walters, 30, of 338 Third St., is charged by state police with robbery, robbery of a motor vehicle, aggravated assault, theft, receiving stolen property, reckless endangerment and simple assault.
“It appears to be completely random. We are still investigating the circumstances,” said Trooper Steve Limani, spokesman at the Greensburg barracks.
The first carjacking occurred at the Buy & Fly Exxon on Highland Avenue in Herminie at 9:15 p.m.
A woman and her 6-year-old daughter were in a 2007 sport utility vehicle when Walters approached from the rear parking lot, punched the driver's side window and demanded that the woman get out, according to Trooper Robert Harr.
The man opened the door, grabbed the woman and tried to pull her out of the SUV as he said, “Get the (expletive) out of the car ... and get your (expletive) kid,” according to an affidavit of probable cause filed before West Newton District Judge Charles Christner.
The victim told police she got her daughter out of the vehicle and the man drove it away.
About 4 miles away, Walters tried to steal a car in Sewickley Township, police said.
A female motorist told Harr a man in a dark-colored SUV passed her Ford Focus, driving erratically on the wrong side of the road. He pulled in front of her and blocked her path near the covered bridge on Bells Mill Road.
The man got out of the SUV, approached her car and ordered her to get out. The victim told police the man grabbed her shirt and tried to pull her out, but she was able to drive away and call police.
In a third incident, a man told police he was driving on Derr Road when his pickup truck was rammed twice from the back by a black SUV, which then drove off.
The stolen SUV was abandoned in the parking lot at the Flying J truck stop in Smithton, police said. A man at the truck stop told police Walters approached him and “anxiously” asked for a ride to Smithton.
“The male declined to give a ride to Walters,” Harr wrote in the affidavit.
Troopers then drove to Walters' home and found him “sitting on the porch and he was bleeding from his head ... drinking a can of beer,” Harr said.
Police said Walters became combative when he was questioned and then taken into custody.
One of the victims identified Walters as her assailant, Harr said.
Police said the SUV Walters allegedly stole sustained “heavy front end damage.”
In 2011, Walters served a four- to 23-month jail sentence for resisting arrest by Smithton Police. He is awaiting trial on charges of theft and receiving stolen property filed by Smithton Police.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled Feb. 11 before Christner.
Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-850-2860 or firstname.lastname@example.org.