Here are two recent stories of very violent incidents, involving out of state gas drilling employees. The victims include all taxpayers.
I was reluctant to post these stories for fear some readers might think I am trying to generalize about all drillers. That is not my intent here. It is merely to illustrate some grisly particulars in an already recognized trend:
In a press release from Rendell’s office in Harrisburg, state police Commissioner Frank Pawlowski reported more arrests and incidents involving drugs, assaults and illegal weapons in northern Pennsylvania, where much of the drilling into the Marcellus Shale is taking place in the state.
“More and more, it seems the police reports coming out of the northern tier include arrests because of drug use and trafficking, fights involving rig workers, DUIs and weapons being brought into the state and not registered properly,” Pawlowski said.
“We’ve even encountered situations where drilling company employees, who have been convicted of a sexual assault in another state, come here to work and do not register with our Megan’s Law website.” (see news article here)
Gas industry worker charged in Pa. stabbing death
By Jason Whong November 5, 2010, 9:25 pm
CHARLESTON TOWNSHIP, TIOGA COUNTY, Pa. — A gas industry worker from Texas has been charged in the Thursday night stabbing death of a local man from whom he rented a room.
Pennsylvania State Police in Mansfield arrested Billy Holden Landry, 49, of Liverpool, Texas. He is charged with criminal homicide and aggravated assault in the death of Shawn Charles Miller, 44, of Cherry Flats Road in Charleston Township, east of Wellsboro.
Police were called just before 11:30 p.m. Thursday to 158 Cherry Flats Road, where Miller rented two upstairs bedrooms to Landry and another gas industry worker.
Miller had no pulse when medics arrived, according to a criminal complaint against Landry filed in District Court in Wellsboro.
Miller was pronounced dead at the scene by the Tioga County Coroner’s Office.
Police said the men were arguing before the stabbing.
Kimberly A. Hess said she witnessed the argument at the home that her mother, Connie Everitt, shared with Miller, Everitt’s boyfriend of 13 years. Miller rented the two upstairs bedrooms in the three-bedroom home to “oil-riggers,” she said.
Hess said she spent the night on the couch and was awakened by Miller asking Landry and the other man, Mike Helton, to be quiet.
“They were drunk, and one had a girl over, and they were all just rowdy and making noise,” Hess said.
Hess said she heard a voice from upstairs taunting Miller and asking him to come upstairs.
Miller remained at the bottom of the stairs and asked them to “shut up, be quiet,” she said.
Hess said the men came downstairs, one with a knife, as Everitt tried to keep the men apart.
Everyone was “eventually pushed down on top of Shawn,” Hess said, as the fight moved toward the television.
“There was a candle that got broke, and I seen blood coming … from Shawn’s wrists, from the top of his hand, actually. And I thought it was from the candle getting broken,” she said.
Miller took a few steps, then fell over. “That’s when we realized he had gotten cut … right below his chest,” Hess said, as she traced a line across her abdomen with her finger.
Landry and Helton left immediately afterward, she said. “They left without their shirts on or anything. They didn’t grab their bags or nothing.”
Just after midnight, Landry went to state police in Mansfield and told the dispatcher that he wanted to speak with a trooper “about a situation he was involved in,” according to the complaint.
Landry told the dispatcher that “two females had beat him up” and that he had stabbed a man “in self-defense,” according to the complaint.
When a trooper interviewed Landry, he said he was protecting himself and that “nobody should take a beating and not protect themselves.”
Police found Helton after 5 a.m. Friday in a trailer in Richmond Township, sleeping in a pair of blue jeans “stained throughout” with blood, according to the complaint.
Helton told police the blood on his pants probably came from Miller, according to the complaint.
Police were unable to say Friday night whether Helton had also been charged in the stabbing.
On Friday afternoon, Landry told police he was hit in the head with a candle and knocked to the ground during the fight and was held down as Miller punched him repeatedly in the face, according to a court document.
Landry told police he removed a knife that was sheathed on his belt and cut and stabbed at Miller, and, as he was driving his truck later, he discarded the knife, according to the complaint.
On Friday afternoon, Hess sat in her home in Wellsboro and described Miller as a nice man who treated her “like his own daughter.”
“I just hope that they get what they deserve. They need to rot in jail,” she said.
Bar fight, black eye leads to Buckeye’s arrest
BY MIichael J. Rudolf (Staff Writer)
Published: November 4, 2010
TUNKHANNOCK – A 25-year-old former gas worker from Ohio was extradited to Wyoming County on Wednesday to face charges related to an Oct. 23 bar fight here.
Tunkhannock Police traveled to Ashland, Ohio, to pick up Nathan A. Milam, who is accused of beating another man with a pool cue during a fight at Beagles Pub, East Tioga Street.
According to the police complaint, Patrolman Dustin Cokely responded to a reported fight and found another man outside, bleeding heavily from his face, with his eye and nose swollen. Police learned the victim had fractures near his eye and nose.
The man told Patrolman Cokely that he was playing pool with three other people, including Mr. Milam, but did not know their names. Asked what started the fight, the man said he missed a shot, then someone hit him.
Patrolman Cokely went into the bar and spoke with several patrons, none of whom had ever seen Mr. Milam. A woman told Patrolman Cokely she saw Mr. Milam strike the victim, then run out the back door. The witness gave police a description. Patrolman Cokely said an anonymous caller contacted state police later that day to say Mr. Milam had been dropped off in Binghamton, N.Y., planning to take a bus to Ohio.
Dave Wenzel, a supervisor for a gas drilling contractor. told police he saw Mr. Milam shooting pool. A few moments later, he heard a loud crack near the pool table, and saw a man on the ground covered with blood.
Borough police picked up Mr. Milam in Ohio, where he waived extradition. He is charged with aggravated assault and simple assault, disorderly conduct and harassment and is in the Wyoming County Correctional Facility in lieu of $25,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is set for Wednesday in Tunkhannock.