New Stanton robbery suspect accused of spitting in jail guard’s face
A New Stanton man arrested in connection with a robbery spree last month was charged Tuesday for allegedly spitting in a guard’s face at the Westmoreland County Prison.
Westmoreland County detectives said Anthony David Gillingham Jr., 31, spit in the male guard’s face when he was denied an extra blanket two days after being booked into the jail on robbery and related charges.
Gillingham was awaiting arraignment on an aggravated harassment by prisoner charge.
He has been held in the Westmoreland County Prison since July 19 after failing to post $500,000 bail. He was arrested that day by state police who said he assaulted two people while armed with a loaded gun, stole a cash register from a New Stanton Marathon gas station and broke into a nearby home where the resident subdued him.
Gillingham demanded money from a man in the gas station parking lot, chased him into the convenience store and threw him over the countertop before fleeing with the cash register, police said. Troopers found him at a nearby Shelton Drive home where the break-in had been reported.
A neighbor who tried to intervene was treated for minor injuries. Troopers believe Gillingham may have been on methamphetamine.
He was booked into the Hempfield jail later that day and put on suicide watch, according to court papers. A guard delivered toilet paper to Gillingham at about 9:55 p.m. July 21 and refused to give the inmate a second blanket, investigators said.
Gillingham allegedly spit through grated meshing into the guard’s face. He told jail officials he was mad about the blanket situation, according to court papers.
Gillingham’s attorney could not be reached. A preliminary hearing in the robbery case is set for Wednesday.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .