Thief pepper sprays Unity man as he to stop car break-in, police say |

Thief pepper sprays Unity man as he to stop car break-in, police say

Patrick Varine

A Unity Township man was pepper-sprayed in the face and eyes late Sunday night as he attempted to stop a man from breaking into his vehicle.

State police charged Christopher W. Reynolds, 37, of Blairsville, with five counts each of theft from a motor vehicle, receiving stolen property and loitering/prowling at night, along with charges of simple assault, harassment, robbery inflicting bodily injury and related traffic charges.

Police said Reynolds got into a fight with David L. Matsko in Matsko’s Gravel Hill Road driveway. Matsko’s daughter woke him up, according to a criminal complaint, saying she thought someone was breaking into the family’s vehicle.

When Matsko went outside to investigate, police said he and Reynolds began fighting, and Reynolds sprayed him in the face and eyes with pepper spray.

Matsko was able to hold onto Reynolds while Matsko’s wife called 911, according to court documents.

Police arrived to find Matsko in his driveway, in severe pain, having difficulty breathing and suffering from temporary loss of his vision.

Emergency responders from Mutual Aid treated Matsko’s injuries. Reached by phone, he declined to comment on the incident.

Reynolds was taken into custody in possession of numerous cell phones, wallets, credit cards, gift cards and cash. He told police he had spent the day drinking before heading to Gravel Hill Road with a backpack and going to roughly a half-dozen properties to break into cars, according to a criminal complaint.

State police located four more victims in the area of Gravel Hill Road and Route 981, according to court documents.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.