BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ)– A disturbance at a nursing home before getting a truck stuck in someone’s yard, all while being drunk, has led to charges for an Altoona man, according to police.
Tyrone Borough police were called to Epworth Manor along Washington Avenue at 3:15 a.m. on Friday morning for a report of a man that was causing a disturbance. Staff told police that Robert Thomas III, 30, went into the staff only area and went through paperwork, before he left, according to the charges filed.
The staff told police that when Thomas left, he broke the front sliding glass doors to the point they couldn’t even open or close them. They also said to police that Thomas then left the facility headed towards South Lincoln Avenue in a white truck Ford Ranger.
As police were canvassing the area, they came upon vehicle tracks that went through two block retaining walls and ended at a yard at a home off the 2000 block of Hawthorne Drive.
Police said that when they got out of their cruiser to check the yard, they then heard a truck door shut and saw Thomas along with the vehicle, that was stuck in the yard, in a fence behind a bush. Thomas then ran about 200 yards up a hill and through a field before police were able to catch him.
In an interview with police, Thomas said that he was upset over his grandmother’s death at Epworth Manor and said it was their fault. He told police that since he couldn’t get answers over the phone, he went to the facility but became angry when no one told him anything and left to “cool off.” He also admitted to police that the truck was not his, according to the criminal complaint.
Police could smell alcohol on Thomas and he told them that he had one beer but spilled half of it on his shirt. When his blood was drawn at the hospital, results showed he had a BAC of 0.082%, police noted.
Police also spoke to the owner of the truck who told them that Thomas was allowed to use it but was supposed to return it by Thursday, Aug. 4.
Thomas faces charges of criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, flight to avoid apprehension, and also DUI.
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Thomas is currently lodged in Blair County Prison and has a preliminary hearing set for Sept. 23.