Point Marion man arrested for robbery; shots fired

January 20, 2014
Joseph Richard Zgela III

DILLINER – A 33-year-old Point Marion man was arrested Sunday morning after he allegedly broke into two vehicles at a house on Cemetery Hill Road then fired numerous shots from a revolver as he fled from the shotgun-wielding property owner.

Joseph Richard Zgela III of 14 Fourth Ave. was arrested by state police following the incident at a store in Point Marion.

Police said they were able to handcuff him as he reached for a handgun stuffed into the front of his pants.

Zgela was placed in the Greene County jail on charges of robbery, firearms not to be carried without a license, defiant trespass, recklessly endangering another person, resisting arrest, theft, retail theft and possession of drug paraphernalia.

State police said they were called at 7:13 a.m. to the home of Stephen Zalar of 234 Cemetery Hill Road for a man breaking into vehicles.

Zalar told police a man he believed to be Zgela broke into his wife’s car and was in his pickup truck when he confronted him.

He demanded Zgela get out of the truck and leave his property.

Zgela did not leave immediately and Zalar fire a shotgun round into the ground to convince him to leave, according to the criminal complaint.

Zgela fled into a cemetery adjoining Zalar’s property and removed a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver from his backpack. He fired multiple shots then fled into the woods, police said.

Trooper Matthew Jardine and Trooper Jason Clayton were able to track Zgela in the fresh snow through the woods to Route 88 and across the Point Marion Bridge to the Family Dollar store.

Police said Zgela was told he was under arrest and ordered to the ground. He failed to comply with the order and was taken to the ground by Clayton. Zgela refused to place his hands behind his back and instead attempted to retrieve the revolver from his pants.

Police had to use force to handcuff him. Police said they found $37.75 worth of $1 bags of candy stuffed into this pants and jacket. They also found a syringe in his jacket pocket.

Zgela was arraigned before District Judge Lee Watson and placed in the Greene County jail on $250,000 bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Jan. 29.



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