Erie Times-News | By Ed Palattella
Over the past several years, officials have said a focus on truancy would help address crime in the city of Erie. An arrest in a shooting case Friday indicated the type of results such a strategy could yield.
Working from a tip they got on a truancy patrol, Erie police arrested a 20-year-old, Jonathan Davila, on charges he twice fired a 9 mm handgun during a fight in the 300 block of East 11th Street about 9:30 p.m. Monday.
The police also filed similar juvenile charges against a 17-year-old boy. No one was injured.
The case came together after Erie police officers on truancy patrol stopped another juvenile on Friday, when he should have been in school, the criminal complaint against Davila indicated.
In the presence of that boy's mother, police questioned him about Monday's shooting, which police believe grew out of a dispute between occupants at two residences in the 300 block of East 11th Street, where Davila lives, the complaint said.
Police said the juvenile told detectives he struck a man in the face in the 300 block of East 11th Street on Monday night, and that the man returned with two other men.
Davila and the 17-year-old also arrived, the complaint said. The juvenile witness said Davila took out a gun, fired it twice and "everyone began to run," the complaint said. Police charged Davila with aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person and possessing an instrument of crime.
Erie 2nd Ward District Judge Paul Urbaniak arraigned Davila on Friday night and jailed him at the Erie County Prison on a full-cash bond of $100,000. Authorities placed the 17-year-old at the Edmund L. Thomas Juvenile Detention Center.
Detective Sgts. Paul Bizzaro, Dominic DiLullo and Stan Green worked on the case.
Erie schools Superintendent Jay Badams and City Council, among others, have said an emphasis on truancy enforcement can help address crime.
Using a $47,000 federal grant, the Erie police in April created a truancy patrol, and resumed it in September. The patrols caught a total of 25 students skipping school, through September.
ED PALATTELLA can be reached at 870-1813 or by e-mail.