Man who barricaded himself in Mount Carmel bathroom waives case to court
M0UNT CARMEL - A 51-year-old Mount Carmel man, who barricaded himself in a second-floor bathroom at his home and threatened to kill himself with a large hunting knife Jan. 30, waived his case to county court Wednesday afternoon and was released from Northumberland County Prison on unsecured bail.
Andrew Zakashefski, of 507 E. Avenue, was ordered by Magisterial District Judge Hugh Jones to appear for a pre-trial conference April 5 at Northumberland County Courthouse in Sunbury, where he can plead guilty or no contest, or seek a trial by pleading not guilty.
Zakashefski, who was represented by Northumberland County Public Defender Paige Rosini, thanked Jones when the judge reduced his $20,000 cash bail to unsecured bail, which allowed him to be released from prison a couple hours later.
Jones warned Zakashefski that he must appear for all future court proceedings or will be subject to a lien of $20,000.
The defendant was taken into custody 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. He was later committed to county prison.
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 before later being apprehended.
Officers entered the residence to check on the safety of Zakashefski's 47-year-old live-in girlfriend, Kathy Lewiski, who was found unharmed.
Lewiski was present for Tuesday's legal proceeding and was allowed to talk with her boyfriend before picking him up later at the prison.