WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)— Luzerne County officials said they will use what they’re calling the “lessons learned” from an incident yesterday involving children and youth caseworkers and a man with a gun.
Officials at the Luzerne County Children and Youth Services said what happened yesterday is a prime example of the potential dangers CYS caseworkers face each and every day. They said the caseworkers involved in this incident handled it correctly.
The Nanticoke Police Department said Cory Gonzalez Crudup pointed a handgun at police officers and Luzerne County caseworkers Thursday morning.
They went to Crudup’s Hill Street home around 11 am according to a criminal complaint.
Officers said they encountered Crudup inside the home where he allegedly pointed a gun at the officers then ran out the door.
Then, according to investigators, he waived the weapon at two CYS caseworkers before running into the woods.
Police searched for Crudup for about 6 hours, a 911 tip led them to him hiding in the back of a truck.
Luzerne County Manager Randy Robertson said this to Eyewitness News.
“It is an event that certainly we have to learn from. Don’t want to overplay it because our world today is just somthing we need to be postured to take care of to continue to do our duties,” said Robertson.
Robertson said a debriefing will be held next week with CYS staff to review the incident.
“From our side. What did we do right? What did we do that we can do better at? So again, lessons learned,” Robertson added.
Roberston said other steps are also being taken to help CYS caseworkers.
“If there is some counseling, some mental health issues, not only with these people but with their colleagues because this is the world we live in. Thank goodness it doesn’t happen very very often at all, but we have to be prepared for it,” Robertson explained.
Luzerne County District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce said anyone who violates a court order involving a CYS case faces jail time, plus:
“If you commit a crime beside that in this case you have someone who pointed a gun, alleged to have pointed a gun at the police and a Children and Youth Services caseworker, those are protected classes under the statute of aggravated assault statute. You’re facing felony two charges and potentially 10 years in jail,” Sanguedolce told Eyewitness News.
Complicating the challenging work that caseworkers face every day, Luzerne County Children and You Services have been understaffed for quite some time.
They said they are operating at about 50 percent staffing. City Manager Robertson said efforts are underway to hire more caseworkers and to increase salaries for those positions.