LEWISTOWN - A man with a long history of mental illness who was shot by police following an altercation on Feb. 23, along Feeder Ave., was arrested by the Pennsylvania State Police Wednesday and charged with aggravated assault and other related offenses.
Officers Jeremy C. Poff and William F. Roberts Jr., of Lewistown Police Department, caught up to 41-year-old Leroy B. Kanagy, of Lewistown, shortly after 8 p.m. on Feb. 23, in an attempt to serve a warrant for a probation violation, according to documents.
What the officers did not know at the time, but would later find out, is Kanagy may well have been on his way to Harrisburg to purchase an automatic gun, which he planned to use to kill police officers, court documents indicate.
When officers Poff and Roberts first spotted Kanagy's vehicle along Chestnut Street, they initiated a traffic stop and informed Kanagy there was a warrant for his arrest and he needed to step out of his vehicle. Kanagy refused, and drove away nearly striking Poff, court documents indicate.
Police said at one point, Kanagy had a passenger in his vehicle, 19-year-old Andrew W. Rice who eventually managed to get out of the car and would later inform them about Kanagy's intentions to go to Harrisburg and purchase weapons, according to documents.
The officers eventually cornered Kanagy along Feeder Avenue where the defendant accelerated his vehicle striking Poff's police vehicle. Kanagy's vehicle became disabled and Poff gave him several verbal commands to get on the ground, which Kanagy refused and instead charged toward the officer, court documents indicate.
Poff attempted to subdue Kanagy by using a Taser several times, but this was ineffective. Roberts also attempted to get Kanagy to surrender, ordering him to get on the ground, which also proved ineffective, court documents indicate.
Kanagy then charged toward Roberts, who said he could not see Kanagy's hands and was in fear for his life, according to documents. Roberts fired two rounds from his service pistol, striking Kanagy twice in the chest, but Kanagy then attempted to flee from officers on foot, court documents indicate.
Shortly after the incident with Kanagy, Mifflin County District Attorney Dave Molek ruled Roberts was justified in the use of potentially deadly force when he discharged his firearm.
Molek said Roberts has since returned to active duty.
When state police later interviewed Rice, he told them of Kanagy's desire to purchase guns to "start a revolution" and kill police officers, documents state.
Court documents indicate Kanagy felt the police had destroyed his life eight years ago and he was going to kill them now.
Kangy spent several months at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville recovering from his wounds.
Troopers interviewed Kanagy on April 11, and asked him why he charged at police officers.
Kanagy said he wanted to "take their guns and shoot them," court documents indicate.
Kanagy told troopers he wanted to start a revolution and that he viewed "the government as the beast and the police are part of the government."
Kanagy was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Jack E. Miller and remains incarcerated in Mifflin County Correctional Facility in lieu of $250,000 bail. He is represented by Michael Gingerich and a preliminary hearing has not yet been scheduled.
In addition to aggravated assault, Kanagy is charged with fleeing from police, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and resisting arrest.