Deputy Roland J. Smithers Jr. had to call for back up following an incident at 3:17 p.m. on Monday.
Little did he know that the officer available to assist him was his colleague and wife, deputy Susan K. Smithers.
Local farmer Clem R. Kadiddlehopper, 70, made the 911 call. He reported a man with a gun was in the field behind the barn.
Kadiddlehopper resides at 3451 East Cussville Road.
Deputy Susan Smithers arrived at 3:22 p.m. Both deputies were armed with shotguns, and proceeded to the rear of the house. A rifle shot was heard coming from the cornfield. Deputies took cover.
Moments later a man emerged carrying a rifle in one hand and a liquor bottle in the other.
The suspect is Robert L. Worthington, aged 48. Worthington stated he was distraught over a pending divorce, and losing his job at Susquehanna Steel Corporation in Kittatinny.
Smithers ordered Worthington to drop his weapon, which he did. He fell to his knees and started to cry. Both deputies attempted to subdue him.
Worthington lunged at Susan Smithers, grabbing her neck and putting her in a choke hold. Deputy Roland Smithers intervened, only to also be grabbed around the neck.
Worthington claimed he wasn’t intending to hurt anyone, that he was just irate about his current circumstances.
“I wasn’t gonna hurt no one. Shit, I was just all worked up over this crap goin’ on, and I thought I might feel better if I shot up some bottles and shit.”
After some resistance, Worthington was eventually arrested and booked at Schuylkill County Jail in Kittatinny.
Circuit Judge, Clarence L.Simon issued charges of public intoxication, trespassing, and two counts of assaulting a law enforcement officer.
Worthington’s car, a 2007 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck was later retrieved. Found parked on the shoulder of Cussville Road, about a quarter of a mile east of the site.
Following the unusual occurrence of married police deputies working together, Schuylkill County Sheriff, Percival F. Quackenbush said the county is usually prohibited from hiring spouses.
In 1996, the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Gender Equity Act passed a law that encouraged 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.” Said Quackenbush.
“I’m just glad they were able to avoid having to use lethal force and that everything worked out OK.”
Worthington will face a bail hearing on Tuesday, following a night in the cell.