New Castle News

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April 19, 2013

Three Detroit men arrested in raid

NEW CASTLE — Three brothers from Detroit were arrested Thursday in a raid at a house on the city’s South Side.

One of the men allegedly reached twice for guns and officers wrestled him to the floor. Police then confiscated the two guns — a .357 Magnum and a .40-caliber Glock.

Officers of the Lawrence County District Attorney’s Drug Task Force Special Investigative Unit were serving a sealed search warrant at 109 E. Home St., and had just entered the house when the struggle ensued.

They were searching the house based on information that a man with a street name of “G” was selling crack cocaine and Xanax from the house and that he travels often from New Castle to Detroit to get the drugs.

Police also learned the alleged sales took place about 190 feet from the St. Vitus School, a Catholic kindergarten and grade school labeled a drug-free school zone.

According to District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa, Javoni A. Hitchcock, 23, was in the living room when police entered the house and an officer ordered him onto the floor. Hitchcock tried to reach under the couch to grab the Glock and an officer wrestled him to another location and handcuffed him. Hitchcock also had tried to reach into the couch cushions for the Magnum, Lamancusa said.

Also arrested in the 6:15 a.m. raid were Dominic A. Brown, 31, and Torey Hitchcock, 22, who also has an address at 109 E. Home St.

The officers “exercised discretion and professionalism today by choosing not to take the life of Mr. Hitchcock, despite his attempts to grab for a gun,” Lamancusa said Thursday.

“Each and every raid places our officers in harm’s way,” Lamancusa said, “and but for the quick thinking and trained response, one of our officers could have been injured or one of the defendants could have been killed.”

New Castle Police Chief Bobby Salem pointed out, “My men are trained to handle these types of situations and I could not be more pleased with how they responded.”

In addition to the guns — one of which had been reported stolen — police confiscated $2,100, a scale, plastic bags, a spoon, a syringe and one roxycodone tablet.

Lamancusa said Brown was wanted on an arrest warrant from Georgia and Javoni Hitchcock was wanted on a warrant from Detroit. He also has a prior felony conviction.

All three men are charged with receiving stolen property and use or possession of drug paraphernalia.

Javoni Hitchcock also is charged for being a felon and having a firearm, which carries a mandatory prison sentence of five to 10 years upon conviction.

He also is charged with aggravated assault on a police officer.

The three were arraigned by District Judge Melissa A. Amodie, who set their bonds at $250,000 each. They are in the Lawrence County jail.

In addition to New Castle police, officers from Shenango, Union, Shenango and Neshannock townships and Ellwood City and New Wilmington boroughs participated in the raid.

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