Homeless man wanted in armed home invasion in Charleroi

June 15, 2017

CHARLEROI – A homeless man is wanted in connection with an armed home invasion last month in Charleroi.

District Judge Larry Hopkins signed a warrant Tuesday for the arrest of Zachary Shay Aquilina, 20, charging him in the burglary and robbery about 3 p.m. May 10 at 115 Luella Ave., court records show.

Police filed charges against Aquilina after being notified June 6 by West Newton police in Westmoreland County they were interviewing a woman who had information on the home invasion.

She told Charleroi police she drove Aquilina and two other males known only as Daniel and Banz up a hill in the borough that afternoon. She said she heard a gunshot about 15 minutes after Daniel and Aquilina got out of her vehicle and walked out of her view.

The woman said the two men ran back to her vehicle a few minutes later and bragged about breaking a door and robbing the resident, who was identified in court records as Kenneth Lee Hill.

Hill told police after the robbery he was asleep on his couch when people who were unknown to him kicked in his door, one of them pointed a 9mm handgun at him, an officer stated in the affidavit supporting the criminal charges in the case.

Aquilina, the alleged gunman, fired a round from the weapon into the ceiling and he said, “Don’t play with me,” the record states. Hill was backed into another room while one of the suspects stole about $400 from a pocket of his pants that were on the floor.

The suspects also fled with a smartphone and tablet computer, Hill claimed.

Aquilina is facing charges of burglary, theft, robbery, conspiracy, reckless endangerment and unlawful restraint.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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