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Latrobe man charged with kidnapping, assault

| Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, 7:51 p.m.

Westmoreland County


Man charged with kidnapping, assault of woman

A 47-year-old man was charged Friday with allegedly kidnapping a woman in Latrobe, driving her to a remote spot in Fayette County, beating her with a tree limb, then returning her to Latrobe, where he set her free.

The suspect, Todd Alan Rager of Latrobe, is accused of binding the woman's hands with rope at his home the morning of Aug. 1, then driving her to an unidentified location in Fayette County where he allegedly tied her to a tree and beat her, police said.

During the ride to Fayette County, he threatened to kill the victim and told her he already dug a grave for her body, according to police.

Westmoreland County Detective Frank Galieli said Rager eventually drove the woman back to his home, where he bound her to a basement post with duct tape for two hours before apologizing and releasing her.

Rager is charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person and terroristic threats. He was arraigned Friday before Unity District Judge Michael Mahady and released on unsecured bond pending a preliminary hearing before Mahady on Aug. 19.


Man dies from injuries sustained in crash

A 60-year-old South Huntingdon man was killed Thursday night when his pickup truck hit two trees off Brickyard Hill Road, state police at Belle Vernon said.

Samuel A. Salamone, of 147 Candlelight Drive, was taken by medical helicopter to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, where he died at 10:10 p.m., of multiple blunt-force injuries to the head, neck, trunk and extremities, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner said.

Salamone's vehicle was eastbound on Brickyard Hill Road, about a half-mile mile east of Pittsburgh Pike, when it crossed the roadway and hit a tree with the driver's side of the truck bed and then struck another tree head-on, state police said.



Crimestoppers offers reward in car thefts

Fayette County Crimestoppers is seeking information leading to the arrest of a man wanted for multiple thefts in the Connellsville area earlier this summer, state police at Uniontown said.

The suspect is accused of entering vehicles, stealing credit cards, then using them at several stores, including Sheetz, Sunoco, Martin's Food and Speedy Meedy's, said Trooper Stefani A. Plume.

The suspect has purchased $2,000 worth of goods and services using the credit cards stolen from two victims, Plume said.

The incidents occurred from June 7 to June 28.

Anyone able to identify the suspect is being asked to contact Fayette County Crime Stoppers at 1-888-404-TIPS or

Dunbar TWP.

Judge decides write-in race

A judge's order on Friday has determined the victor in a write-in battle between two candidates for the Republican nomination for Dunbar Township supervisor.

Judge Steve Leskinen found that John “Toby” Tabaj accumulated 68 write-in votes to win the nomination over Vern Ohler, who Leskinen found had 66 votes.

The votes were challenged for various reasons, including misspellings and voters' failure to properly mark their ballots.

In tallying the challenged votes, Leskinen found there was no evidence of voter fraud.

Absent that, he said, case law has found that misspelled names and technical discrepancies are not reasons to strike votes.

“This case is a near-perfect illustration that ‘every vote counts' — can make a significant difference — particularly when there are two good candidates who have enlisted substantial support from their prospective constituents,” Leskinen wrote in the order.

Tabaj had already won the Democratic nomination with 494 votes to Ohler's 481.


Accuser in jewelry theft arrested

Pittsburgh police on Friday arrested a man who accused his friend of stealing $113,000 worth of jewelry.

Police charged Isaac Cameron, 21, of Squirrel Hill with carrying a firearm without a license, prohibited acts and driving violations.

Cameron failed to make a complete stop at a red light before turning from Hamilton Avenue onto North Homewood Avenue in Homewood just before 2 a.m., according to a criminal complaint.

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