CLEARFIELD – A man accused of making a false report to Clearfield County Control during his own traffic stop had a hearing on Wednesday.
Robert Delgadillo of Texas faces charges oftheft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, possessing instruments of crime, false swearing, false alarms to agencies of public safety, false reports to law enforcement agencies, criminal use of communications facility, disorderly conduct, obstructing administration of law, and several summary traffic violations. Prior to the hearing, another charge of receiving stolen property was added.
Officer John Walker of the Lawrence Township Police Department testified that on Nov. 17, he was in his patrol vehicle watching the off ramp from Interstate 80 westbound to state Route 879. He said a truck hauling a flatbed trailer went through the stop sign at the bottom of the ramp then made a right on SR 879. Walker said he pulled the vehicle over at Sapp Bros. Truck Stop.
He said that as he approached the vehicle, he took the information from the trailer. Walker said that when he approached the cab, the driver was on his phone and signaled to walker with a finger, a “one minute” sign. Walker said this irritated him, but that he went to the front of the truck and took down the truck’s information.
Walker said when he reapproached the cab, the driver exited the vehicle and asked for help, stating he had just been robbed. Walker asked him where, and based upon the driver’s answers, determined it was a the Snow Shoe exit.
“I basically knew it was BS,” said Walker. He explained that the man’s mannerisms and stature helped to tip him off. He also said that there was no call out from the state police or county control regarding the alleged theft. Walker indicated that he found it suspicious that the man would announce the alleged theft almost a half hour later.
Walker eventually got the driver’s information and had everything run through the system. Walker said that at about this time they received a call for a tractor-trailer that had overturned on SR 879, about three miles north of the truck stop. Walker was going to respond to the call and gave Delgadillo a warning, telling him not to run anymore stop signs.
Walker went to the area where the accident was reported and said there was nothing there. He said he put two and two together and figured that Delgadillo made the call. He said he traveled back to the truck stop and called into Clearfield County Control to ask who made the call for the reported accident. They said it was a James Freeman. After running the phone number they confirmed that it came from Delgadillo’s phone.
Walker had a BOLO put out on Delgadillo. County Control pinged his cell phone and found that he was in the vicinity of the Penfield exit. Walker said shortly after Officer James Ward with the Sandy Township Police Department reported in that he had Delgadillo at the Falls Creek Sheetz.
Walker also testified that they received information back on Delgadillo and his trailer. The trailer, Walker said, was reported stolen from Texas. Delgadillo had warrants from Carlisle, PA, Texas and Tennessee. It also came back that Delgadillo’s CDL was expired.
Under cross-examination Walker was asked if anyone else was in the truck, especially the sleeping compartment. Walker said he never checked. Walker also testified that there were two phone numbers listed as calling into County Control regarding the alleged accident. He said one was Delgadillo’s and that they were waiting on a warrant to come through on the other one.
Two dispatchers from Clearfield County Control also testified. The first, Vicki Hoover, tesified that she took the initial call, in which someone said there was a rollover on SR 879, about three miles from the truck stop. She said the driver hung up before anymore information could be gathered.
Hoover testified that some other calls came in. She said that in one Delgadillo said the accident was instead 4-5 miles north of the truck stop. Hoover also testified that she called out two fire departments and emergency medical services to deal with the alleged accident.
Dispatcher Gina English testified that she took the second call from Delgadillo. She said she could overhear another voice in the background telling him not to run anymore stop signs. She said when she played the call back later, she recognized Walker’s voice.
English said she attempted to call Delgadillo back to get more information on the alleged accident, but only got his voicemail.
Ward then testified that he got the call to be on the look-out for Delgadillo’s truck. He said he began searching the truck stops in Sandy Townshp and that he found Delgadillo at the Fall’s Creek Sheetz. He said Delgadillo continually questioned him, asking him what was going on. Ward told him that the police were looking for him then detained him. Ward eventually Mirandized him and got permission to search his truck, where he came across a stolen license plate from Oklahoma.
Following the hearing Delgadillo’s attorney Ron Collins asked for the dismissal of the theft by unlawful taking charge, arguing that the trailer was reported stolen in Texas. Regarding possession of instruments of crime, Collins said that calling the cell phone such was stretch, and that the fake swearing charge had to do with lying under oath.
First Assistant District Attorney Trudy Lumadue argued that the cell phone being used as an instrument of the crime spoke for itself. She also argued that Delgadillo was telling the officer and 911 center about accidents and robbery, repeatedly.
Magisterial Judge James Hawkins bound all charges to court, save the contentious theft by unlawful taking charge. He also left bail the same at $100,000.