Stranger storms into Apollo home, grabs knife, police say
A woman charged into an Apollo home during a Mother’s Day dinner and grabbed a knife before an occupant wrested it away, police said.
Eric Cheierici, 41, a chef from North Apollo, and his 62-year-old father had just made a spaghetti dinner for Cheierici’s 87-year-old grandmother in her Apollo house in the 500 block of North Fifth Street.
“I was doing the dishes, and I heard the door open. My grandmother always locks her door. We hadn’t,” Cheierici said.
Shockingly, it wasn’t the relative they were expecting.
“I saw a woman I didn’t know run through the door and downstairs,” Cheierici said.
The woman, whom state police identified as Janet Marie Gallo, 32, of Apollo, “kept saying, ‘They’re coming to get me. They’re coming to get me’ and then she ran upstairs,” Cheierici said.
Cheierici said the woman grabbed a steak knife from his grandmother’s knife block.
“I was trying not to upset her. She put it down and grabbed a bigger one. I got that one and then she grabbed a bigger one and said, ‘Someone is going to get hurt,’ and she looked out of it,” he said.
The woman repeatedly said that the people chasing her were upstairs and that she was afraid, Cheierici said.
“My dad was calling 911. I jumped in front of my grandmother,” he said.
Cheierici said he rushed the woman and got the knife away from her.
Cheierici noticed that the woman wasn’t wearing shoes or socks.
When things quieted down, the grandmother finally recognized Gallo as the daughter of a neighbor.
“After it was over, we thought about ‘What if?’ ” Cheierici said. “What if we weren’t there? What might have happened?”
State police charged Gallo with terroristic threats, criminal trespassing and two counts of simple assault.
She was arraigned Sunday and placed in the Armstrong County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing before District Judge James Andring in Leechburg next week.
Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, [email protected] or via Twitter .