Woman arraigned in hoax

February 7, 2013

A woman was arraigned late Wednesday in connection with a telephone hoax that sent police from numerous departments to a Peters Township home earlier that day.

Tara Howard, 36, who lists addresses in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Venetia, was taken into custody by Peters police with assistance from North Strabane Township police at a home on Wallace Lane, North Strabane.

Peters police were called to 400 Justabout Road about 1:45 p.m. for a report of a person who had been shot. The 911 dispatcher said the caller was a frantic female, later identified as Howard, who said she heard a gunshot and found a bloody person on the floor of the home.

Police surrounded the residence and tried to make contact with someone inside the house. Peters police Chief Harry Fruecht organized an entry team. Peters and state police entered the home and conducted a search but found no one with a gunshot wound nor any signs of criminal activity.

Police also said that while they had the home surrounded, the homeowner arrived and told them he had received a voicemail message from a relative who said she was going to make the call to 911 to cause the family inconvenience. Howard later was found highly intoxicated in Washington.

Howard was arraigned before District Judge Jay Weller on charges of false reports to law enforcement and disorderly conduct. She was placed in the Washington County jail on $5,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 19 before District Judge James Ellis.



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