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Theft Charges Against Local Man Withdrawn, Disorderly Conduct Charge Moves Forward
According to court documents, one summary count of disorderly conduct – unreasonable noise filed against 54-year-old Duane C. Schlopy, of Fairmount City, was moved to non-traffic court on Tuesday, February 11, while the following charges were withdrawn:
– Theft By Unlawful Taking-Movable Property, Misdemeanor 3
– Receiving Stolen Property, Misdemeanor 3
– Intentional Possession Controlled Substance By Person Not Registered, Misdemeanor
– Drive Unregistered Vehicle, Summary
– Operate Vehicle Without Required Financial Responsibility, Summary
– Operate Vehicle Without Valid Inspection, Summary
The charges stem from a traffic stop in Clarion Borough in late November.
Details of the case:
According to a criminal complaint, around 7:13 a.m. on November 27, 2019, Officer Maxwell, of the Clarion Borough Police Department, was on patrol when he observed a red Saturn station wagon pulling out of a business parking lot and discovered the vehicle’s registration was expired as of October 2018. The vehicle traveled a short distance on Riverview Avenue before pulling back into the same business parking lot, at which time Officer Maxwell initiated his emergency lights to conduct a traffic stop, and the vehicle pulled into a parking space.
Officer Maxwell then approached the driver’s side front window and made contact with the driver, identified as Duane Schlopy. Officer Maxwell made Schlopy aware of the reason for the stop and asked why he had pulled out of the parking lot only to reenter it.
According to the complaint, Schlopy stated he wanted to go back into the business. He was then asked to provide his license, registration, and proof of insurance. Schlopy provided his license, but had no proof of insurance and no registration card.
The complaint notes that Officer Maxwell then observed that the vehicle’s inspection was also out of date as of November 2018, and the vehicle had a cracked windshield. Schlopy allegedly admitted the vehicle should not have been on the road and stated he was aware that there were “several issues.” He did not have proof of insurance, but allegedly stated he thought he had it active on the vehicle. (However, according to the complaint, when Officer Maxwell spoke to Schlopy several days after the incident via phone, Schlopy confirmed he did not have insurance on the vehicle at the time of the incident.)
While speaking with Schlopy, Officer Maxwell also observed a prescription bottle, in plain view, in the backseat. Officer Maxwell asked Schlopy if the pills were his, and Schlopy allegedly admitted they were not. Officer Maxwell then asked to see the pill bottle, and Schlopy handed it to him.
The complaint notes the bottle contained 67 acetaminophen and propoxyphene napsylate pills, which is a schedule IV controlled narcotic, and the name on the pill bottle was the name of a female from Shippenville. Officer Maxwell then asked Schlopy where the pills came from since they were not his.
According to the complaint, Schlopy stated he works for a local business and found the pills in a house in which he was working about a week earlier. Schlopy stated that due to the situation with the particular house, they were permitted to take certain items, as the house was being cleaned out.
Officer Maxwell then asked Schlopy if he knew what the pills were for. Schlopy allegedly stated he thought they were pain pills, but quickly followed up by stated he “couldn’t take those types of pills” and that “they would make him sick.” The complaint noted Schlopy “seemed very aware that he should not have the pills” and said “he should have got rid of them.” He also allegedly made a statement about wanting antibiotics.
Officer Maxwell then seized the pills, returned to his patrol vehicle, and ran Schlopy’s information. He was able to confirm Schlopy’s registration was expired and then returned to Schlopy’s vehicle and advised him he would be getting paperwork through the mail, according to the complaint.
The pills were transported to the Clarion Borough Police Department where they were logged into evidence.
Officer Zerfoss later conducted a follow-up interview with the owner of the business that Schlopy was employed.
According to the complaint, the owner advised Schlopy was working at the residence listed on the pill bottle found in Schlopy’s vehicle. However, when told that Schlopy said he was allowed to take items found in the clean-up, the owner denied this and stated their protocol is to dispose of all trash in the appropriate containers.
Charges were filed through Magisterial District Judge Duane L. Quinn’s office on Monday, December 30.
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