LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Kingston police have filed charges against Luzerne County Councilman Stephen J. Urban in connection with an alleged incident involving a group of children.
According to the Kingston Police Department, on August 25, 49-year-old Stephen J. Urban (pictured below) allegedly chased a 12-year-old boy with a baseball bat on North Sprague Avenue but also allegedly tried to have video evidence of the incident destroyed. The mother of the boy says he feared for his life.
Police say the 12-year-old boy was playing basketball with a group of friends when Urban came out of his house and confronted the juvenile. The children told officers that Urban originally came out with a “shotgun and racked it twice” and then went back inside to get a baseball bat.
“It’s just upsetting. I was just nervous. I was just glad that they were all okay and nobody got seriously injured,” said the mother of the 12-year-old.
The mother of the 12-year-old boy who was allegedly chased by a baseball bat-wielding Stephen J. Urban says she still can’t believe what happened.
According to a criminal complaint, the drama unfolded around 7:00 p.m. on August 25. Her son and several of his friends were playing basketball on North Sprague Avenue when an argument erupted between neighbors.
One of those neighbors, according to court documents, was Urban. The I-Team spoke with Urban who did not want to make any statement on camera, saying it would be inappropriate since this was an active court case.
“I pulled in from work the kids came running back because they were scared. That he chased them with a baseball bat and the neighbor had a shotgun that he cocked the shotgun on the porch,” said the 12-year-old’s mother.
Investigators tell the I-Team and the complaint confirm that there has been no evidence that Urban ever had a shotgun. Urban also told 28/22 News he did not have a weapon.
When first speaking with Kingston Police Uban told detectives he never chased the kids with a bat. However, according to the criminal complaint, he was recorded on a neighbor’s home security camera allegedly telling that neighbor:
“You know I did chase them off the porch, so if you’re camera (( inaudible)) take it off, that’s all I ask, nothing to see you know,” Urband said.
The court documents also detail an interview he did with a detective in which Urban remarked:
“I don’t want to be a vigilante, I have a reputation, I have a lot going for me. I don’t want trouble. I lost my cool that day, I did wrong.”
As stated in the affidavit, an argument can be heard on surveillance video captured from a neighbor’s house between Urban and the group of children. The video showed Urban come off his porch wielding a baseball bat, raising it over his head into a swinging position, and running after the 12-year-old boy, police stated.
The grandmother of the 12-year-old boy says Urban, as an elected official is held to a higher standard.
“A public figure is very important. He represents people here. He makes decisions for them,” said the grandmother of the 12-year-old.
Once Urban was interviewed by investigators stated he told them the group of children was harassing a woman in front of her house causing him to approach them with a bat. Urban also stated it has been an ongoing issue with the group of children saying it “gets to the point where you want to chase them away,” officers said.
Urban has been charged with two counts of simple assault and tampering evidence. Urban told the I-Team it would be inappropriate for him to comment on the allegations.
District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce will refer the case to the State Attorney General to avoid any conflict of interest. Since Urban is a county councilman. You can read the entire criminal complaint below. Also, Urban is running for re-election in November.
Below you can find the full affidavit regarding the incident involving Urban and the group of children: