Victim tells police man wanted to “blow up the residence” by ramming gas meter

By Ed Lewis - [email protected]

WILKES-BARRE — Five days after being released without bail on allegations he threatened his girlfriend, city police arrested Isaiah Tarique Elam on charges he repeatedly rammed a vehicle into a gas meter at the woman’s residence Friday night.

Elam, 28, allegedly told police his Dodge Avenger slipped down the backyard at 116 N. Empire St. and struck the gas meter.

But Shakira Nelson claimed Elam rammed the gas meter several times in an attempt to “blow up the residence,” court records say.

Police said the gas meter had to be replaced and Elam’s vehicle was towed from the scene.

According to court records:

Elam was arraigned April 22 by District Judge James Haggerty on an arrest warrant issued March 5, two days after Nelson reported to police he threatened her. Nelson alleged during an argument about their failed relationship Elam told her, “I’m going to shoot you in the face. I swear on my mother.”

Although Nelson made no other allegations Elam assaulted her, police charged Elam with simple assault and harassment.

Elam was released without bail after he was arraigned by Haggerty.

Five days later, police responded to Nelson’s residence just before 11 p.m. Friday finding a wrecked Dodge and a damaged gas meter.

A neighbor, Frank Bozek, told police he was inside his residence when he heard a loud noise. When he went outside, he allegedly saw Elam ramming a vehicle into the gas meter at 116 N. Empire St.

Nelson allegedly told police she was arguing with Elam when he got into his vehicle and drove through the backyard and down concrete steps and struck the gas meter several times.

Elam claimed the vehicle slipped down the backyard when it struck the gas meter.

A crew from UGI turned off the gas meter and determined it had to be replaced.

A fence was also damaged during the incident.

Elam was charged with risking a catastrophe and criminal mischief. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $50,000 bail.

By Ed Lewis

[email protected]