New Castle News

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January 3, 2013

Man accused of harassing minister

NEW CASTLE — An East Side man has been charged after allegedly posting harassing Facebook messages on a local church’s website.

New Castle police charged Anthony John Petronzio, 48, of 1026 E. Washington St., with two counts each of disorderly conduct and harassment for repeatedly alarming and annoying a minister and his wife.

Police were called around 9:30 a.m. Dec. 19 to a home on the city’s North Hill, where the caller reported he is pastor of a church in Neshannock Township. He said he had started a Bible study group about three months ago at the New Castle Community Y, and Petronzio, who attended the meetings, exhibited belligerent behavior.

The minister said that recently, he and his wife had received numerous demeaning and harassing messages on Facebook from Petronzio, and the minister said Petronzio had stated he wishes death to the man’s unborn child.

The pastor further said Petronzio also left harassing messages on the church website and the congregation also has expressed fear of him.

Those messages have since been removed.

Petronzio was sent a summons to appear Jan. 29 for a preliminary hearing.

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