Neighbors help troopers locate Hempfield break-in suspect

·2 min read

Jul. 21—Residents in the rural Hempfield village of Hannastown helped direct state police to a man accused of forcing his way into a home Tuesday and initially refusing to leave before running away moments before officers arrived.

Blake R. Quakenbush, 26, of Latrobe was arrested on charges of burglary, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness after the incident on Steel Avenue. He was ordered held in the county prison after failing to post $50,000 bond.

Troopers said two adults inside the residence reported Quakenbush barged into the house, "shutting the door behind him and began yelling, screaming and causing a disturbance."

A female said she picked her two-year-old child from the floor and ran into a nearby room, locking the door during the incident.

The male owner of the home said Quakenbush, a stranger, initially refused to leave after he barged in, Trooper Matthew Cunningham said in court documents.

The pair reported Quakenbush appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance.

Responding troopers "were informed by several neighbors" that they saw Quakenbush running away and Cunningham said the suspect was located a short time later and taken into custody.

During an interview, Quakenbush told investigators that he believed "unknown individuals were chasing him and he ran into the victims' residence to hide," according to court documents.

Quakenbush has a preliminary hearing scheduled Aug. 18 on drug-related complaints filed by North Huntingdon police after his arrest there April 26, according to online dockets. He served a six-month sentence after pleading guilty to DUI in Hempfield in 2017, according to court records.

His preliminary hearing on the new charges is scheduled Aug. 3.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, or via Twitter .

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