Montrose man admits hitting cops

BY STEVE McCONNELL

Times-Shamrock Writer

A Montrose man pleaded guilty Friday to hitting four state troopers with his Jeep at the Viewmont Mall shortly after he sold heroin to an undercover trooper.

The incident unraveled on Aug. 23 when an undercover trooper bought two bundles of heroin from Joseph Klecha, 26, for $370.

After the drug buy, troopers converged on Klecha, opening the doors of his Jeep Liberty and reaching in to grab him.

Klecha hit the gas, lurching the Jeep forward and backward, hitting the troopers.

Once they got him out of the Jeep, he resisted arrest, leading troopers to shoot him with a stun gun.

Appearing before Lackawanna County Judge Vito P. Geroulo in a tan prison jumpsuit, Klecha pleaded guilty to two counts each of aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, and single counts of resisting arrest, criminal mischief and delivery of a controlled substance.

He faces a maximum 78-year sentence in state prison.

“The message to be sent from that – you don’t dare hurt law enforcement,” Assistant District Attorney Shane Scanlon said outside the courthouse. “When you’re caught, you’re caught.”

Klecha told the judge he was under the influence of heroin and Xanax that day.

In a separate drug case in Susquehanna County involving another controlled buy of heroin, Klecha also pleaded guilty Friday to delivery of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility.

The Susquehanna case was transferred to Lackawanna County.

He is being held at Lackawanna County Prison on $110,000 bail. A sentencing date was not announced.