PORTER TOWNSHIP, PIKE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A standoff Wednesday night in Pike County ended with a fleeing suspect killed.
And now the county’s district attorney is investigating the use of lethal force by a state police trooper. 31-year-old Joseph Cantelmi of Jim Thorpe was the suspect in this case. He fled a traffic stop before barricading himself inside a cabin in the state forest. The intersection of state route 402 and Pine Flats Road was the site of a standoff between police and a suspect inside the Delaware State Forest.
“We just kept our plans on hold and stayed home and came up this morning for the weekend,” Jim Lloyd of Stroudsburg said.
Lloyd wasn’t sure what was happening near his cabin until he heard the news from state police Thursday morning. Wednesday morning, Blooming Grove troopers conducted a traffic stop on 31-year-old Joseph Cantelmi for a warrant in Carbon County.
According to police, Cantelmi intentionally struck one police vehicle before leaving the scene. Troopers pursued the Jim Thorpe man to a cabin where he broke in and barricaded himself. For the next seven hours, state police tried to communicate with him with no cooperation.
Troopers used tear gas and flash noise devices to get the suspect to surrender. State police and the SERT team say Cantelmi used a gun from inside the cabin and fired shots at troopers. When the SERT team got inside the cabin, they attempted to arrest Cantelmi. Police say he showed a firearm and they shot him.
“They were saying it was a cabin close to the bridge. They (friends) have a cabin close to the bridge,” Adam Brown of Bucks County said.
Brown was coming up to enjoy Thanksgiving and the first day of deer rifle season on Saturday with friends, only to be stopped from entering the state forest.
“I could only imagine the people that were already in that were told to stay inside,” Brown said.
“It could have been any property and unfortunately, that’s the one he picked. You know, that situation didn’t go so good,” Lloyd said.
During the standoff, state police charged Cantelmi with two felonies and one misdemeanor. A judge approved a search warrant to the property in an attempt for troopers to arrest Cantelmi.
There were no reported injuries during the several-hour standoff in Pike County.