Accused traffic scofflaw’s luck runs out in New Stanton sting, police report
An Irwin man’s luck avoiding bench warrants for numerous traffic offenses in three Western Pennsylvania counties ran out Wednesday when he was ordered held in the Westmoreland County Prison on $1,500 bail after unsuccessfully attempting to escape police this month.
Walter P. Hanns Jr. , 38, was arraigned on two counts each of resisting arrest, reckless endangerment and single counts of harassment and disorderly conduct stemming from his attempt to flee a warrant service June 18 at the UPS facility in New Stanton, where he works.
Authorities planned a special warrant detail at 11:30 p.m. June 18 to serve 19 bench warrants — some dating back more than a decade — against Hanns generated from various magistrates in Allegheny, Butler and Westmoreland counties. Among the warrants served was one domestic relations bench warrant from Westmoreland for failing to appear at a hearing, according to court documents filed by Penn Borough Police Sgt. Eric Colamarino, who also works with state Attorney General’s Task Force Division.
Colamarino, with two state troopers and local municipal police serving as backup, arrived at the UPS facility and were led by UPS security to a tractor trailer dock in the main warehouse where Hanns was working.
Hanns, initially unaware it was law enforcement when he was called to the floor, stepped down a ladder from a catwalk and entered a nearby hallway where he saw police were waiting, Colamarino reported.
“’Walter, turn around and put your hands behind your back,’” Colamarino reported he said to Hanns.
“Immediately, … Mr. Hanns made eye contact and in an extremely abrupt, forceful manner ran right through … pushing this officer out of the way, dislodging the handcuffs which I was attempting to place on to the defendant’s hands,” Colamarino said.
Hanns ignored repeated orders to stop and continued running down a corridor where an assisting state policeman attempted to subdue him but was pushed to the floor. The collision resulted in both the trooper and Hanns falling to the ground, where he was subdued and handcuffed. The trooper suffered a bruised knee during the incident, Colamarino said.
“I was scared officer,” Colamarino quoted Hanns as saying. “That look you had on your face when you said my name and told me to turn around was so scary, sir.”
“I’m sorry. I am really just a big teddy bear,” Colamarino said Hanns told police as he was led to a patrol car.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled July 3.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .