New Castle News

January 4, 2014

Fombell man accused in multiple incidents

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE —

Joseph Pounds is a common denominator in a series of alleged violent crimes in Ellwood City.

Pounds, 20, of 104 13th St., Fombell, and others were charged this week in connection with those incidents, which Ellwood City police said involved injuries.

In a Christmas Day incident, Pounds and four family members allegedly attacked a woman with a box cutter. He also is accused in two armed robberies and a disturbance at a house where he was arrested.

He is being held in the Lawrence County jail in lieu of $250,000 bond.

Police said Pounds had co-conspirators in each incident as follows:

•A man told police he had been walking home just after 11 p.m. Dec. 7 on Factory Avenue when a car stopped and the passenger got out and knocked him out. He said when he awoke 45 minutes later, they were gone and he was missing more than $500. Police said the man had facial injuries.

The car allegedly involved was parked in front of Pounds’ house, about three blocks from the site of the assault, police said. The man identified Pounds as his attacker from a photo lineup.

Pounds is charged with robbery, theft and simple assault. Bond was set at $50,000.

•Pounds and Michael Viccari, 23, of 133 Hazel Ave., were arrested Wednesday in connection with a Dec. 8 robbery.

Ellwood City police said a couple told officers they had picked up Viccari at a restaurant on Fifth Street and he was with Pounds and another person.

They said Viccari had told them he was going to buy something and needed a ride to the West End. He had them drive him to a parking lot. As they got out of the car, Pounds, wearing a mask and a hood, ran at one victim and put a gun to his chest, the man told police.

He said Pounds had knocked him down, punched him, threatened to “blast him” and took $55 and a knife from his pocket.

Pounds is charged with two counts each of robbery and theft, and one count each of aggravated assault, illegal possession of a firearm and carrying a firearm without a license. District Judge Jerry G. Cartwright set his bond at $50,000.

Viccari is charged with robbery and theft and was arraigned by Cartwright, who set bond at $50,000.

•Pounds and four family members are charged for allegedly cutting a woman with a box cutter in the 900 block of Skyline Drive Dec. 25.

She told police she had gone outside to check on her dog about 12:15 a.m. and saw the five walking toward her house. The woman said she tried to run, but they jumped her, Melinda Pounds grabbed her hair and pulled her to the ground and Adam Pounds punched her in the left cheek.

She told police Joseph Pounds had punched her in the shoulder, then shoved her face into the ground. She said Michael Pounds brandished a box cutter or knife and Adam Pounds tried to cut off her ankle bracelet.

The woman told police she feared for her life because she is a witness in a murder trial.

Police said the woman suffered cuts on her right cheek, right leg, abdomen, shoulder blade, chest, forehead and left shin, calf and ankle.

Joseph Pounds, Adam M. Pounds, 22, and Melinda Pounds, 23, all of 104 13th St., and Michael Pounds, 25, and Desiree Kaufman, both of 1585 Fox St. each are charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, intimidation of witnesses or victims and criminal conspiracy to commit all of those offenses.

Adam and Joseph Pounds were arrested Wednesday and arraigned by Cartwright, who set bond at $100,000 each.

Their preliminary hearing is set for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Michael and Melinda Pounds and Kaufman are wanted on warrants.

•Ellwood City police reported Joseph Pounds had run from them and tried to hide as they attempted to arrest him Wednesday.

Officers were called to a disturbance in the 300 block of Franklin Avenue, and when they arrived, Pounds, who allegedly had been involved in an assault there, ran out.

Police said they had chased him to a fenced-in area of a nearby school where he crawled under a car. They deployed a police dog to get him to comply with orders.

He is charged with flight to avoid apprehension. Bond was set at $50,000.

Adam Pounds and Viccari also were arrested on warrants at that house, according to police.

Officers said Viccari had a bag of suspected marijuana weighing 5.5 grams in his pocket. They also reported Viccari had urinated out of his jail cell at the borough police department.

He is charged with possession of marijuana, criminal mischief and institutional vandalism. His bond was set at $50,000.