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Winchester man arrested in hostage hoax

On Thursday, Dec. 3 authorities from Adams and Brown Counties responded to a call from an individual who claimed he was being held hostage at gun point in a home in Peebles.

Peebles police officer John Shope,was dispatched to 167 Wendell Avenue in Peebles at approximately 11 a.m.

When he arrived at the scene, a woman answered the door and claimed to have no knowledge of anyone in the home calling the police for assistance.

Upon returning to his cruiser, Officer Shope was informed by the Peebles dispatcher that there had been a second call for assistance from the same address. The caller once again claimed he was being held hostage.

Units from the Adams County Sheriff’s Department, the Seaman Police Department, the State Highway Patrol, and the Adams County Game Warden’s office responded to the call for backup.

While a perimeter was being set up, a man and woman exited the house. According to Officer Shope, “They were ordered to get on the ground, then all the officers moved up on the house.”

An eyewitness to the incident, Heath Robinson of Peebles, described the scene, “There were police all around the house, they had their guns drawn, and they were talking to two people in front of the house.”

Before being removed from the scene by Deputy Randy Walters, the couple, James Johnson and Wendy Maringelli, told Peebles Police Chief Rob Music that there were two more people in the home. Chief Music and the other officers entered the house and brought out another man and woman, Frederick R. Allen of Winchester and Carrie Johnson.

All four individuals denied making the emergency call. Chief Music asked to examine their cell phones and discovered that Allen had made the call.

Allen confessed, saying that he had just wanted to talk to someone.

He was arrested and charged with inducing panic.

Chief Music told the Defender, “I’m just thankful that no one was hurt. These days, with all the tragedies that happen, we have to be extremely careful.”

According to Music, this was the second incident police have responded to involving Allen, who last week was wandering around town insisting that he was being pursued by someone with a ball bat.

Carrie Johnson was also charged with possession of drugs, after testing positive for cocaine and methamphetamine.

Children’s Services was also involved in the incident because Ms. Johnson has two young children.

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Charged with inducing panic

By Patricia Beech

pbeech@civitasmedia.com

Reach Patricia Beech at 937-544-2391 or at pbeech@civitasmedia.com

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