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Charges dropped in police stand-off in Jeannette

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Thursday, May 9, 2013, 7:24 p.m.

Charges have been dismissed against a Jeannette man accused in a nearly five-hour standoff with police in August.

Witnesses failed to show up at a nonjury trial for Joseph D. Caltagirone III, 36, who has been in jail since his arrest.

Assistant District Attorney Wayne Gongaware said victims in the case were subpoenaed to testify, but prosecutors were unable to locate them.

“We expected that and that's why we scheduled it for a nonjury trial,” Judge Debra Pezze said.

She dismissed three counts of aggravated assault and single charges of simple assault, terroristic threats and reckless endangerment.

Caltagirone was accused of threatening a neighbor with a rifle on Aug. 8. Police said they asked Caltagirone to come out, and when he didn't respond they evacuated nearby homes.

The incident began in the 100 block of North Third Street around 9 p.m. on Aug. 8 and Caltagirone peacefully surrendered at 1:40 a.m. Aug. 9, according to police

After Pezze dismissed the charges, Caltagirone asked if he could hug his wife.

“I haven't seen her in months,” he said.

Pezze denied the request, adding that Caltagirone would see his wife Thursday evening after his release from the Westmoreland County Prison.

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