COAL TOWNSHIP, NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A man has been arrested in connection with the death of 21-year-old Cheyenne Swartz. Swartz was found badly injured along the 1400 block of West Arch Street in Coal Township on May 21.
Stephen Kruskie, 26, of Mount Carmel is being charged with homicide.
Police say Swartz and Kruskie, her ex-boyfriend, were arguing in his Jeep Cherokee when Swartz tried to exit the vehicle. They say Swartz was dragged by the vehicle before being run over by the back tires.
According to the police report Kruskie left the scene leaving Swartz in the roadway. Swartz was found by two women who saw her laying in the road and called officials.
When officers arrived on scene, they say Swartz was badly injured. She died several days later on May 25.
Kruskie was identified as Swartz’s ex-boyfriend by her mother, who said the two were together earlier in the day. When questioned by police, Kruskie reportedly admitted to seeing Swartz and spending the day with her but said he had dropped her off and denied ever arguing with her that day.
Instead, Kruskie reportedly claimed that he dropped Swartz off a few blocks away from her mother’s house.
Police say Kruskie was questioned by officers and agreed to a search of his vehicle. The passenger-side door hinge was found to be damaged. According to police, another person Kruskie and Swartz were together with the night of the incident told officers that he “believes that Kruskie is responsible for Swartz getting hurt”.
Investigators say video footage from a home on West Arch Street, near where Swartz was found showed a vehicle that appeared to be Kruskie’s jeep traveling at a high rate of speed. The footage reportedly shows the vehicle passing the area before Swartz was found in the road. Police say no other vehicles were seen traveling on West Arch Street between that time.
Kruskie was questioned by police again, during which he allegedly admitted to lying to officials. He then reportedly claimed that he and Swartz did get into an argument but denied any physical altercation. Instead, police say Kruskie told them that Swartz jumped out of his vehicle. Officials say Kruskie told them he was scared and drove away without checking on Swartz but did not explain why he was scared.
Kruskie is charged with criminal homicide, aggravated assault, aggravated assault by vehicle and other related charges.