Alleged assault victim refuses to proceed, charges against Pine Grove Twp. man dismissed

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Sep. 16—TREMONT — Robbery and other charges against a Pine Grove Twp. man were dismissed Thursday in district court after the alleged victim declined to proceed with the case.

Shawn M. Bonawitz III, 35, of 11 Trumbo Road, appeared before Magisterial District Judge David J. Rossi on charges of felony robbery; misdemeanor theft and simple assault; and summary harassment.

Appearing via videoconference from the Schuylkill County Prison, Bonawitz, through Assistant Public Defender Lora McDonald, entered a not guilty plea.

Assistant District Attorney Shelby G. Hostetter asked Rossi to continue the hearing, saying the commonwealth can't get the alleged victim, Samantha Zeiders, to appear.

Trooper Anthony Urban, of the Schuylkill Haven station, told Rossi that attempts to reach Zeiders have been unsuccessful.

"She doesn't want to proceed with the case," Urban said.

Rossi then granted a motion by McDonald to dismiss all charges.

Urban had charged Bonawitz for an alleged incident at his home around 7:45 p.m. Aug. 23.

Urban said Zeiders reported that she was on the front porch when Bonawitz asked to use her cellphone to call a friend to whom he owed money.

The defendant also asked Zeiders how much money she had, Urban said.

Zeiders said that when she showed Bonawitz that she had $140, he grabbed the money and said he was going to repay his friend, according to Urban.

When the woman asked for the money back inside the home, Bonawitz grabbed her by the hair, threw her to the floor and kicked her twice, Urban said.

Afterward, Bonawitz grabbed Zeiders by the hair again and drug her outside through a back door, Urban said.

Urban said he interviewed two juvenile, who said they witnessed Bonawitz pulling the woman's hair outside and also heard fighting inside the home.

Zeiders suffered a small bruise to her right forearm and an abrasion consistent with the assault, the Urban said.

Bonawitz returned to the property and was taken into custody around 10 p.m., at which time he was in possession of the $140, according to Urban.