NEW CASTLE – Police say a western Pennsylvania man has returned a $400 jackpot after falsely claiming to have a “bingo” at a church fundraiser.

Police tell the New Castle News that the man was playing at Mary Mother of Hope parish hall in the city about 45 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

The man claimed to have a bingo so a worker paid him the jackpot before checking his card and realizing he had not won.

The woman called police because the man left with the money. Police arrived at his home a short time later and told the man they’d file a theft charge against him if he didn’t give back the money. Police aren’t identifying the man because he gave back the money.

The incident happened Wednesday night.

Girls steal key, make a meal in victim’s house

HARBORCREEK – State police say two girls stole a key and burglarized a 69-year-old woman’s home, cooking themselves a meal and leaving behind a mess afterward.

But police aren’t identifying the girls or filing charges against them because police say the homeowner didn’t want  to press charges.

The Erie Times-News report says the girls got into the home while the owner was away from Jan. 19 through Feb. 6.

A relative of the home’s owner found the mess while the owner was still away and contacted police.

Troopers from the barracks in Lawrence Park, near Erie, investigated the case.

Authorities: Marriage proposal violated bail

SCRANTON – Authorities say a man who allegedly locked his girlfriend’s 7-year-old son in a makeshift coffin tried to marry the woman immediately after being released on bail, despite a court order to stay away from her.

Court records say 32-year-old Brain Sleboda was jailed in December after prosecutors learned he’d applied for a marriage certificate along with 26-year-old Lori Gardner.

The couple was arrested in October after police say they locked Gardner’s son in the basement, forced him to sleep in a coffin and bound him with tape.

Officials say they learned the couple applied for a license the day after Sleboda was bailed out by reading the court notes in The Times-Tribune of Scranton.

A message left today for Sleboda’s attorney was not immediately returned.

Boy, 11, fatally beating for not vacuuming, police say

PITTSBURGH – Authorities say a Pittsburgh man brutally beat his girlfriend’s son to death because he hadn’t vacuumed their apartment.

Investigators say 11-year-old Donovan McKee endured nine hours of abuse Saturday before his mother returned home from work and called police after she found him unresponsive.

Twenty-nine-year-old Anthony Bush was taken into custody and arraigned Sunday on homicide and child endangerment charges.

Police say Bush told officers he beat the boy with wooden sticks. They say McKee was ordered to clean up the sticks that Bush broke during the attacks.

At one point, police say Bush used a needle and thread to close a cut he’d caused on McKee’s arm.

Bush is being held without bail at Allegheny County Jail. Court records do not list an attorney for him.

Carbon monoxide sickens more than 25

READING – Malfunctioning heaters are being blamed for high levels of carbon monoxide that sickened more than two dozen people at a Pennsylvania apartment building.

Fire officials say five people had to be hospitalized after the odorless gas was detected Sunday inside a Reading apartment building.

Reports of gas fumes brought firefighters to the building Sunday afternoon. Reading Deputy Fire Chief Tom Kemery says their carbon monoxide alarms immediately went off, triggering the evacuation.

Seventeen people were in the building at the time.

Ten or 12 more had felt sick that morning but had already left after visiting residents. They were told to seek medical attention.

Officials say the exposure was caused by two heaters that apparently malfunctioned.

Megabus to bypass Erie starting next month

ERIE – Megabus says it will end its discount bus route between Pittsburgh and Toronto, meaning the cities of Erie and Buffalo, N.Y. will also lose service on that route.

The last day for that route will be March 13.

Megabus officials say the buses were only about 25 percent full. That means the company, which is a subsidiary of Coach USA, would have had to raise fares to keep the line going and company spokesman, Bryony Chamberlain, says that runs counter to the discount bus company’s mission.

The Pittsburgh-to-Toronto Route was launched in May to gauge demand. Chamberlain says it just didn’t work out.

Megabus offers fares as low as $1, plus a 50-cent booking fee, depending on when someone books a trip.

$40K of sports cards stolen outside casino

ERIE – State police are looking for whoever stole $40,000 worth of sports collectible cards from a van parked at Presque Isle Downs & Casino.

State gaming enforcement officers say in the Erie Times-News report that the suspects smashed the window of a van owned by Joseph Hocevar, of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. The cards were reported stolen about 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

Police did not immediately say why the man had the cards with him at the time. But authorities believe someone in a gold coupe with tinted windows followed him to the casino and stole the cards while he was inside.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Trending Video

Recommended for you