Fugitive of the Week Found Hiding in Basement

Fugitive of the Week: Shawn Ortasic  (Provided photo)

Fugitive of the Week: Shawn Ortasic (Provided photo)

CLEARFIELD – District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. has announced the capture of a wanted fugitive.

Shaw identified the fugitive as Shawn Ortasic, 26, of Nichols Street, Clearfield. Ortasic was added to the Fugitive of the Week list on Sept. 12.

Ortasic was wanted for failure to appear at a preliminary hearing Sept. 7, at which time a warrant was issued for his arrest. In a separate case, Ortasic was wanted for failure to appear at sentencing court Sept. 7.

On July 27 Officer Daniel Podliski of the Clearfield Borough Police Department filed a criminal complaint, charging Ortasic with endangering the welfare of children, M1, two counts, and use/possession of drug paraphernalia, M.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, on July 19 officers were dispatched to a residence to check the welfare of children. Upon arrival Podliski made contact with a male, who was identified as Ortasic.

At that time, Podliski observed garbage outside of the residence and detected an odor of animal waste coming from within the residence. Upon receiving permission to enter the residence, Podliski observed deplorable living conditions, the affidavit states.

In addition, Podliski allegedly observed drug paraphernalia within a room where the children slept.

A preliminary hearing was held Sept. 7, at which time Ortasic failed to appear, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

In a separate case, Officer Joseph Witherite of the Curwensville Borough Police Department filed a criminal complaint, charging Ortasic with use/possession of drug paraphernalia, M, and disorderly conduct, M3.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Oct. 31, 2015, officers conducted a traffic stop. Upon making contact with the occupants, including Ortasic, numerous items of drug paraphernalia were allegedly observed throughout the vehicle.

Upon making further contact with Ortasic, police found drug paraphernalia on his person, the affidavit states.

A preliminary hearing was held Dec. 30, 2015, at which time all charges were held for court. On Sept. 7 Ortasic failed to appear at sentencing court, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Shaw stated that on Wednesday deputies from the sheriff’s office responded to Ortasic’s last known address. Upon arrival deputies were given permission to enter the residence.

While inside the residence, deputies noticed movement in the basement. A search of the basement was conducted by the deputies, and Ortasic was found to be hiding there. Ortasic is currently lodged in the Clearfield County Jail.

Shaw thanked the Clearfield County Sheriff’s Office for its assistance with this case.

Anyone with knowledge of a fugitive’s location is asked to call Clearfield County Crime Stoppers at 800-376-4700. All calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential.

Anonymous tips can also be submitted by visiting the Clearfield County District Attorney Web site at “www.ClearfieldDA.org” and selecting “Report A Crime.”

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