Area Man Facing Charges After Hiding From Police

| August 13, 2019

SUGARCREEK BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) – Charges have been filed against a Meadville man who was found hiding behind a vehicle in a garage in Sugarcreek Borough.

Court documents indicate the Sugarcreek Borough Police Department filed criminal charges against 40-year-old Isaac Cunningham of Meadville.

According to a criminal complaint, around 5:20 p.m. on Friday, August 9, Ptlm. Johnson of the Sugarcreek Borough Police Department was contacted by Lt. Baker who related that probation (officer) was going to a location on Wilson Street for a welfare check on a known woman.

Upon the arrival, the probation officer went to try to speak with a known female then returned to speak with the landlord and was given access to the woman’s apartment. Lt. Ashbaugh, Ptlm. Johnson, and the probation officer then entered and announced their presence multiple times. They walked through the house and into the garage and noted that there were belongings left out as if someone had just been at the residence.

According to the complaint, upon a second check of the garage, the officers found the known woman walking up from the basement. The woman told the officers she had been in the basement and had just woke up.

The complaint notes that when asked if there was anyone else in the basement, the woman ignored the question, despite being asked twice.

The officers then proceeded to the basement. Ptlm. Johnson announced his presence and asked that anyone there announce themselves. According to the complaint, he then noted wet footprints that went across the basement to the other side of the building. He followed the footprints into another section of the basement, through a doorway, and came to a third door that led to another set of stairs which led to the garage.

According to the complaint, in the garage Ptlm. Johnson found a man crouched down hiding beside a car and told the man to stand up and place his hands above their head. The man complied and Ptlm. Johnson asked if he had heard them yelling. The man said he did and upon further questioning said that he heard a knock at the door and “took off running” because it was the police.

The man, who was later identified as Isaac Aaron Cunningham, was then placed into custody and taken outside. According to the complaint, Cunningham stated that he didn’t know why he was being detained or what he’d done wrong and said he was sleeping and woke up to the woman telling him that someone was knocking at the door. Cunningham allegedly told the officers that he ran and hid after he heard them identifying themselves.

According to the complaint, a search of Cunningham found a cell phone, an empty ziplock bag, and a wallet.

The complaint notes that Cunningham asked what time it was, and when asked said he thought it was around 10:00 a.m. Ptlm. Johnson informed him it was shortly after 6:00 p.m. and noted that his statements made it seem he had slept for 14 hours. Ptlm. Johnson informed Cunningham that usually happens if someone had used meth, but Cunningham stated he had not used meth recently.

Cunningham was advised he was being arrested for trespass and allegedly listed several reasons he felt the charge was not correct and then asked approximately 10 more times in the following 20 minutes. He was taken inside to identify his belongings, and identified, among other items, a bookbag on the couch.

According to the complaint, a search of the bag turned up several alcohol prep pads with dried blood on them and a syringe that was used with a mix of blood and clear fluid. The complaint notes that when asked, Cunningham said the substance was methamphetamine and said he had used some two days prior.

Cunningham was arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge Andrew F. Fish at 9:10 p.m. on Friday, August 9, on the following charges:

– Criminal Trespass-Enter Structure, Felony 3
– Use/Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Misdemeanor

Unable to post $5,000.00 monetary bail, he was lodged in the Venango County Jail.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 14, with Judge Fish presiding.

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