Suspect who brawled with officers over illegal turtle sales heading to higher court – Wilkes Barre Times

WILKES-BARRE — A man accused of getting into a scuffle with state conservation officers investigating the illegal sale of turtles on North Washington Street in July is heading to higher court on charges.

John Cregg, 38, of Tobyhanna, appeared before Magisterial District Judge Thomas Malloy Sr. for a preliminary hearing Thursday. Court documents indicate Cregg’s misdemeanor charges of resisting inspection or apprehension, simple assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, false identification to law enforcement, interfering with an officer performing duties, fleeing or eluding and a slew of wildlife laws were waived to higher court.

Cregg’s felony charges of assault of an officer, aggravated assault and disarming a law enforcement officer were withdrawn.

According to a criminal complaint filed with Malloy’s office, Cregg and his 14-year-old nephew were contacted July 1 by Fish and Boat Commission waterways conservation officers, who had arranged via Facebook to purchase reptiles from an online seller.

Officers from the commission’s Special Investigations Unit had arranged the purchase, and had uniformed officers standing by to assist, the complaint says. When the officers contacted Cregg and asked what he was doing, he allegedly told them he was “just selling some turtles.”

When Cregg became aware there was a warrant for his arrest, he allegedly attempted to flee. According to the complaint, the 14-year-old then jumped on one of the officers and had to be pulled off by another.

Officers said they had to use baton strikes and OC spray to subdue Cregg, and at least one officer drew his firearm. The complaint says officers were eventually able to secure Cregg in handcuffs, and were assisted by Wilkes-Barre city police officers who had arrived on scene.

The complaint says the 14-year-old was referred to the juvenile division of the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office and released into his mother’s custody.

Court documents indicate Cregg is scheduled for a formal arraignment at the Luzerne County Courthouse at 10 a.m. Dec. 9. His bail was modified to $10,000 from $20,000, but court documents did not indicate if Cregg posted it.

By Travis Kellar

[email protected]

Reach Travis Kellar at 570-991-6389 or on Twitter @TLNews


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