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

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