WILKES-BARRE — A reputed member of the Bloods street gang was hiding behind bushes near the residence of his estranged wife, who claimed he threatened to kill her and their children early Wednesday, according to charges.
City police said they arrested an intoxicated Franklin Valera, 35. He was holding an open container of alcohol behind bushes at the rear of a home in the 200 block of South Hancock Street just after 12:30 a.m.
Valera verbally harassed officers, using sexual slurs and calling them “pigs,” according to a criminal complaint.
When officers approached Valera to arrest him, police allege he tensed up, clenched his fist and took a fighting stance.
Police say Valera was taken to the ground and tried to escape to avoid apprehension.
After Valera was detained in handcuffs, officers spoke with Latasha Valera.
Latasha told officers she feared for her life, claiming Valera attempted to enter the residence yelling, “Do you want to go to war with me …,” the complaint says.
She alleged Valera threatened to kill her and their children.
Police said Latasha had a protection-from-abuse order against Valera but she withdrew it last week. She also told police Valera is a member of the Bloods street gang, the complaint says.
Valera was transported to police headquarters where he continued to be belligerent. While being searched, police allege he flashed gang signs commonly used by the Bloods.
Police allegedly found a small bag containing a white powdery substance on Valera.
Court records say he was previously charged with simple assault and harassment after an incident involving his estranged wife May 31, 2017. Those charges were dismissed at a preliminary hearing June 13, 2017.
Valera was arraigned Wednesday by District Judge Donald Whittaker in Nanticoke on charges of terroristic threats, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, public drunkenness and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $50,000 bail.