Charges pending in bathroom barricade
MOUNT CARMEL - A 51-year-old Mount Carmel man is facing multiple charges after he barricaded himself in a second-floor bathroom at his home late Wednesday night and threatened to kill himself with a large hunting knife.
Andrew Zakashefski, of 507 E. Avenue, was taken into custody shortly before midnight after police used a pepper spray canister to draw him out of the room before deploying a Taser gun.
Zakashefski suffered a wrist laceration from falling after being stunned with the Taser gun and was treated at the scene by personnel from AREA Services Ambulance. He was then transported to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, where he was involuntarily committed for evaluation on a mental health "302" warrant.
The disturbance began at about 10:40 p.m. when borough police were called to Zakashefski's home for a possible burglary in progress.
Shortly after arriving at the residence, officers observed Zakashefski on a second-floor back porch armed with a large hunting knife he was holding up to his neck. Zakashefski then ran into the home and barricaded himself in a second-floor bathroom, police said.
Police reported Zakashefski began throwing household items out the windows and refused demands by police to exit the home.
Officers made entry into the residence to check on the safety of Zakashefski's 47-year-old live-in girlfriend, Kathy Lewiski, who was found unharmed.
Police then began a dialogue with Zakashefski in an attempt to get him out of the bathroom. According to police, Zakashefski became increasingly agitated and began making statements that he was going to cut his throat and kill himself.
After talking with Zakashefski for about an hour, police threw a pepper spray canister through an exterior bathroom window, which caused Zakashefski to open the bathroom door moments later. But police said Zakashefski still refused verbal commands to show his hands so police could determine if he still had the large hunting knife on his possession, which he did.
Police then used the Taser gun on Zakashefski.
Police believe Zakashefski may have been under the influence of bath salts, which contributed to his behavior.
Police reported multiple criminal charges will be filed against Zakashefski.
Assisting Mount Carmel police at the disturbance were officers from Mount Carmel Township, Kulpmont and Ralpho Township, and firefighters from Anthracite Fire Company, who provided ground ladders.