Residential Kittatinny came under fire Monday afternoon after a distressed local resident fired a .22-caliber bolt-action rifle near the intersection of County Highway K and Cussville Road.
Several shots were heard by farmer and property owner Clem Kadiddlehopper who called 911. Responding Deputy Roland Smithers Jr. arrived on scene at 3:17 p.m.
Upon arrival, Smithers was informed by Kadiddlehopper that the gun-wielding suspect was in the field behind the barn. The suspect was later identified as Robert Worthington of 1322 E. Lexington Ave.
After calling for backup, he and Deputy Susan Smithers proceed to the rear of the house, both armed with shotguns, as more gunshots were heard.
Deputies asked Worthington to forfeit his weapon and come out with his hands up. Two more shots were fired before Worthington emerged from the field carrying a gun and a liquor bottle.
After being asked to drop his gun for the second time, Worthington cooperated. The man fell onto his knees while appearing to cry.
“I wasn’t gonna hurt no one,” Worthington said. “Shit, I was just all worked up over all this crap goin’ on, and I thought I might feel better if I shot up some bottles and shit. Now I gone and f$#%ed up everything.”
Worthington later explained that he had recently lost his job at Susquehanna Steel Corporation and was also distraught over a pending divorce.
When deputies attempted to subdue Worthington, he fought back.
At one point he held Susan Smithers in a choke hold. As she struggled with the suspect, Roland Smithers, her husband, pulled Worthington off her. The suspect then grabbed Roland Smithers by the neck.
According to Schuylkill County Sheriff Percival Quackenbush, the county normally prohibits the hiring of spouses. However, in this case, the state issued a waiver to help fulfill the 1996 Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Gender Equality Act, which encourages the hiring of more women as police officers, sheriff’s deputies and state troopers.
“Mr. and Mrs. Smithers don’t usually work the same shift, and they told me this was the first time they had ever responded to an incident together,” Quackenbush said. “I’m just glad they were able to avoid having to use lethal force and that everything worked out OK.”
Susan Smithers used a Taser to subdue Worthington. He was arrested and taken to Schuylkill County Jail where he was booked and held overnight.
Worthington will face charges of public intoxication, trespassing, two counts of assaulting a law enforcement office and reckless use of a deadly weapon.
A bail hearing will be held on Tuesday.