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Policeman Uses Taser on Uncooperative Fugitive Found in Elizabethtown

A Northwest Regional police officer used his Taser in Elizabethtown to apprehend a man who was wanted by state police on an attempted homicide charge.

Trevr Braxton Koestner, 39, who was listed in court records as homeless, was arrested the afternoon of Monday, Oct. 30, at the Turkey Hill store at 245 N. Market St.; he was wanted by state police for attempted homicide after police said he attacked someone with a metal baseball bat the previous day in Bethel Township, Lebanon County.

Elizabethtown Police Officer Jacob P. Kadilak described the events leading up to the arrest in a sworn statement filed in court. Kadilak wrote in his sworn statement that a county dispatcher advised him that Koestner was in the area. He wrote that Officers Kenton Whitebread and Tyler Seidel from Northwest Regional Police were first to arrive on the scene and Whitebread confronted Koestner inside the store, but Koestner tried to flee. As Whitebread tried to gain control, Koestner punched Whitebread in the hands and chest. About 30 seconds later, Seidel, Kadilak and Elizabethtown Police Cpl. Gordon J. Berlin arrived, but Koestner pushed Seidel in an attempt to get out of the store, Kadilak wrote in court papers. At that point, Seidel deployed his Taser and police were able to take Koestner into custody, Kadilak wrote in his sworn statement.

Koestner knocked over several display cases in the store, causing about $50 in damage to display cases and merchandise, and damaged Seidel’s sunglasses valued at $110 while resisting arrest, Kadlak wrote in court papers.

Berlin searched Koestner and found several items taken from the store on him: a charging cable for electronic devices, a black angus bacon cheeseburger and a small cheesesteak sub, which were valued at a total of $18.69, according to Kadilak’s sworn statement.

Koestner is now facing a second-degree felony count of aggravated assault and a third-degree felony count of retail theft from Elizabethtown police. He is also facing a second-degree misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest and a third-degree misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief in Elizabethtown. The retail theft charge is graded as a felony because he had three previous retail theft convictions in 2001, 2003 and 2004, court records show.

Police Chief Jack Mentzer told LNP that officers involved in the incident suffered minor injuries and declined medical treatment.

State police said Koestner was from Indiana, Pa., a town about 45 miles east-northeast of Pittsburgh.

The Lebanon Daily News reported that Koestner attacked a 27-year-old Dauphin County man at 6:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, in a cow pasture in Bethel Township, Lebanon County. According to the report, Koestner hit the other man several times in the head and body with a bat. Besides attempted homicide, he faces charges in Lebanon County including aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment and terroristic threats, according to court records.

Koestner is in Lancaster County Prison in lieu of $250,000 bail while awaiting a preliminary hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 13, before Magisterial District Judge Jayne F. Duncan.

The arrest of Koestner was the fourth felony arrest made by Elizabethtown police in the course of a week. Two of those arrests were made at the same house on Summit Street between Market Street and Poplar Street. Donna C. Arndt, 48, was charged with the third-degree felony of criminal trespass-enter structure and the third-degree felony of intimidation of witness/victim. Police said in court papers that Arndt entered the victim’s home shortly after 5 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, after being told by a police officer two days earlier that she was not to return to the house. Police said she also took the victim’s cell phone and house phone to keep her from calling for help.

David George Kuchar, 58, was charged with the first-degree felony of burglary; police said in court papers that he entered the same house on Summit Street on the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 26, and took two cans of beer. Police said he had been told by police not to return to the house several hours before.

In an unrelated event, Elizabeth M. Hockenberry, 20, who was listed in court records as homeless, was charged with second-degree felony burglary and third-degree misdemeanor theft by unlawful taking or disposition. Police said in court papers that she entered a home on North Hanover Street between Hummelstown Street and Willow Street on the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 24, and took about $20 from a jar in the kitchen. Police said the victim had been missing items such as money and cigarettes over the last few weeks and set up a trail camera designed for use by hunters in her kitchen. The victim was able to identify Hockenberry from the images caught by the trail camera, police said.

Another felony charge was filed by another police agency in the region. Chelsea Elaine Cochran, 23, of Middletown, is the third-degree felony charge of criminal trespass-enter structure and the third-degree misdemeanor of defiant trespass for events in Conoy Township on the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 25. Susquehanna Regional Police Detective Michael J. Kimes said in a sworn statement filed in court that Cochran entered the victim’s home using a key she had taken previously and began throwing items around. Kimes wrote in his sworn statement that the victim kept telling Cochran to leave, but she would not, so the victim called 911. He wrote that Cochran fled immediately once she realized the victim was calling police.

Kimes told the Advocate that Cochran had not been photographed by police because she turned herself in to Judge Duncan and has been cooperative with the case. Her arraignment is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 8, in Judge Duncan’s court.

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