Monday, March 17, 2014

Falls man arrested in courthouse hit & run

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014 

A 52 year-old Falls man has been charged with driving his SUV into the entrance of a closed Falls district court house.

William Shaw, whose last known address was the 1400 block of Bristol Pike, was arrested hours later when he returned after the building opened to take care of some court business, police said. 

Judge Jan Vislosky’s staff never got the chance to find out what Shaw wanted because shortly after he arrived, a Falls police officer inside the building noticed an odor of alcohol on Shaw’s breath, according to court documents.
William Shaw
That officer also recalled that Shaw drove a red Chevy Blazer, the kind of vehicle a witness told police was involved in a hit-and-run accident shortly after 4 a.m. at the same New Falls Road courthouse.
By late Thursday afternoon, Shaw was standing before another district judge where he was arraigned on a list of charges including burglary, criminal trespassing and institutional vandalism. Bristol Township Judge Robert Wagner Jr., who will oversee the case, sent Shaw to Bucks County prison in lieu of 10 percent of $500,000 bail.
The judge also required as a condition of bail that Shaw stay away from Vislosky’s court and anyone who works there.
Falls police say the hit-and-run accident caused about $5,000 worth of damage to the doors and front foyer of the court. The SUV did not breach the court’s main office, which remained secured. The incident forced the cancellation of hearings scheduled for the day, but the court remained open for general business. No one was injured.
Damaged court entrance
Police say that a man driving to work around the time of the accident reported that he saw a red mid- to full-size SUV back up and ram the front entrance of the court, then drive away, police said. When police investigated the crash scene, red paint transfer was found on the smashed doors.
When the officer saw Shaw at the court building later, he asked where his Blazer was. Shaw wasn’t forthcoming, but agreed to be interviewed at police headquarters, according to a probable cause affidavit. During an interview there, Shaw allegedly adm
itted to purposely striking the building because of ongoing proceedings at Vislosky’s court that he was involved in, according to police.
Shaw also directed police to his Blazer, which was found behind a building on Falls-Tullytown Road. The SUV had damage to the driver’s side tail light and quarter panel, police said.
At his arraignment, Shaw, who is unemployed, told Wagner that he was “actually pleading innocent,” before later telling the judge that he had money to make restitution.

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