State police in Greensburg seek help in finding kidnapping suspect
State police in Greensburg have renewed their pleas for the public's help locating a 42-year-old Hempfield man who allegedly abducted a woman and held her at gunpoint on Jan. 16 in New Stanton.
Dennis Lee Backus Jr. of Swede Hill Road is accused of going to the woman's home about 2 a.m. Jan. 16 in violation of a protection from abuse order issued against him on Jan. 2 in Westmoreland County.
Charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, terroristic threats, possession of firearm prohibited, false imprisonment and reckless endangerment were filed against Backus with Scottdale District Judge Charles Moore.
Police said he is 5 feet, 9 inches tall, weighs 175 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes. He may be driving a 2004 black Mazda RX8.
The woman said she was entering her house when she encountered Backus on her porch, according to an affidavit filed by Trooper Timothy Culler.
“(Backus) immediately placed a black handgun to her head and stated, ‘Don't do anything stupid,'” Culler wrote.
Backus told the woman to walk to his car, which she did “out of fear for her life,” the affidavit states.
The woman said she tried to push away the gun several times. After they got into his car, Backus placed the gun on his lap, she told police.
The two talked about their relationship for about 45 minutes, the woman told police.
At one point, Backus told the woman, “We are both going to die tonight,” the affidavit states.
After talking a while longer, the woman told Backus to put away the gun, and he placed it in the driver's-side door compartment. The woman told Backus she wanted to go home and her drove her to a nearby street and let her out of the car.
The woman said she locked herself inside the house and called police.
Backus was not found at his Swede Hill Road residence, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call state police at 724-832-3288.
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.
- Father, son killed in East Huntingdon crash
- Penn Township man seeking gun permit accused of bringing heroin to courthouse
- YouTube campaign by Latrobe 4-year-old aids Alzheimer’s Association
- Consent decree that limits weddings at Foxley Farms ruled valid
- Police: Westmoreland women stole thousands to pay for dog show hobby
- Adelphoi resident charged as adult in Latrobe assault
- Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board suspends in-store tastings
- Latrobe man who admitted role in fatal crash allowed to continue driving
- Hookah bar on tap for Greensburg
- Forbes: Monday is pizza night at St. Pius
- Sewickley Township man got food stamps, $206K in gas well royalties, investigators say