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Volunteer Firefighter Charged With Arson Inside His Own Home

MOCANAQUA – Authorities in Luzerne County said Tuesday that a 20-year-old volunteer firefighter has been charged with arson for allegedly setting a fire inside a double block home where he lived.

Troopers accused Corey Davis of lighting a closet door on fire on Italy Street in Mocanaqua back in January, and later responding to a 911 call in a fire truck with fellow members of the nearby Shickshinny Volunteer Fire Company.

After his arraignment in Nanticoke, Davis told Newswatch 16 that he is a firefighter, but he denied setting a fire.

Maria Fischetti said she remembered seeing the first responders who put out the fire near her home, and she was surprised to hear that a firefighter is being held responsible.

UPDATE: Reward Offered in Case of Abandoned Puppy in Larksville

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP – A playful, mixed-breed pup named “Lark” is like any other dog at Blue Chip Farms Animal Refuge, except for a scar around the dog’s snout.

Marge Bart told Newswatch 16 that she fears the four-month-old puppy may have been tied up with metal wire.

“‘I don’t know who would ever think to do something so horrible as this to a young puppy, but it does look like they bound his mouth shut with some kind of tie,” said Bart. “He’s a very faithful pup. He’s just as sweet as could be and loving. It’s just sad that he has such unconditional love for whoever did this to him.”

Amanda Walton said the latest case of suspected animal cruelty has sparked a nerve with refuge volunteers.

“It never gets easier. You almost think that after a while of just seeing these things, you’d almost become desensitized, but you just cant,” said Walton.

Suspended Trooper on Trial Takes the Stand

WILKES-BARRE – A suspended state trooper accused of hacking into her boyfriend’s cell phone account and later lying to investigators about a fight, took the stand in her own defense today.

Inside the Luzerne County Courthouse, Carrie Gula told jurors that she had permission to access her boyfriend’s cell phone account, and that they set up his password using her initials and state police badge number.

Gula also testified that during a fight with her boyfriend at his home in Exeter, he grabbed the trooper and spit on her uniform.

According to officials, Gula is on unpaid leave from the Fern Ridge barracks.

This case could go to the jury for deliberation on Thursday.

Two Vehicles Torched in Forty Fort

FORTY FORT – Police in Luzerne County said an unlocked sedan and a delivery van were ransacked and set on fire sometime late Sunday night or early Monday morning.

Paul Kabacinski told Newswatch 16 that his delivery van for Floral Designs on Wyoming Avenue was likely left unlocked by accident.

“It sort of puts a damper because now we’re out a van. Sure, insurance will pay for it, but it won’t replace the van, so we’re out money on that end,” said Kabacinski. “They’re going to get them because there are surveillance cameras all around here. So, they’re going to find them, hopefully.”

On nearby Slocum Street, Jean Williams said there was an oxygen tank inside her car, when someone set a fire on the front seat of her year-old sedan.

Accused Mobile Meth Lab Cook Offers Warning

KINGSTON TOWNSHIP – Two people charged for a mobile lab explosion in Luzerne County’s Back Mountain have agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges in court.

Court records said Jennifer Arnold was driving an SUV near Frances Slocum State Park in November, when a container filled with a mix of chemicals exploded on the passenger seat floor, in between Lee Marshall’s legs.

After the hearing, Marshall told Newswatch 16 that he hopes his experience will be a lesson for anyone who might try to make or use the powerful, illegal stimulant known as methamphetamine.

“I was burned very badly. I am healing and proceeding,” said Lee. “It is an insidious disease. I hope that by someone seeing the news and seeing what can happen, they won`t do what they think they can do on YouTube.”

Teen Wanted For Stabbing Surrenders

WILKES-BARRE – A teenager surrendered to authorities Monday in Luzerne County, five days after he was accused of stabbing a high school student.

Officials said Kevin Espinoza, 17, of Wilkes-Barre was arraigned on felony aggravated assault charges as an adult.

Court records said Espinoza stabbed another 17-year-old on Lehigh Street, after a basketball game at GAR High School on Wednesday.

Investigators said the teenage stabbing victim is still recovering from surgery after the stabbing.

Espinoza’s attorney told Newswatch 16 that the stabbing was in self defense, because the teenager was jumped from behind after the basketball game.

Boy Shoveling Snow Nearly Abducted in Ashley

ASHLEY — Police in Luzerne County are trying to track down the man who allegedly tried abducting a boy who was shoveling snow for a neighbor Friday morning.

According to 911 dispatchers, the attempted abduction happened right around 10 a.m. at the Ashley Mobile Home Park near Wilkes-Barre.

Ashley police tell us that a man in an SUV offered a middle-school-aged boy $10 to shovel out his driveway.

The boy said yes, but police say he changed his mind when the man insisted that the boy get in a Jeep Cherokee.

The boy’s mother told Newswatch 16 that the man grabbed his arm, and the boy was able to escape by slipping out of his glove.

“He grabbed him when he went to give him his money back. He tried to pull him in the car and he pulled his hand out of the glove,” said the mother. “He’s pretty shaken. He closed all of the blinds in the house and locked the door. It was pretty scary for him.”