Fugitive captured living in Hanover Township high rise

By Ed Lewis - [email protected]
Mills -

HANOVER TWP. — A man with a lengthy record and wanted by federal and state authorities was captured Sunday living in the Lee Park high-rise apartment building on Lee Park Avenue, township police said.

Officers say Richard Wayne Mills, 60, was wanted by U.S. Marshals and Pennsylvania parole agents on parole violations stemming from assaulting a law enforcement officer and firearm offenses. He was captured when police investigated an incident in the high rise at about 7:20 p.m. and turned over to state parole agents.

Mills resided on the sixth floor of the building.

Court records say he served several years in state prison for a variety of criminal convictions in Luzerne County in 2009.

According to court records and Times Leader archives:

Mills was sentenced in August 2009 to six to 12 years in state prison on charges of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, flight to avoid prosecution, intimidation of a witness, criminal solicitation to intimidate a witness, robbery, burglary, illegal possession of a firearm, firearms not to be carried without a license and escape.

Those charges reflect three separate cases filed against Mills.

Mills was charged with assaulting then-Luzerne County Sheriff Michael Savokinas on Anthracite Street, Wilkes-Barre, in December 2008. Savokinas was conducting surveillance on a house knowing Mills was inside. Mills was being sought on a burglary charge when he was accused of forcing his way inside an Exeter business and stealing firearms and tools.

As Savokinas approached the house, Mills assaulted the sheriff and attempted to grab scissors during the fight, archives say.

Firearms and tools stolen during the burglary at the Exeter business were recovered in a vacant house on Luzerne Street, Wilkes-Barre.

Then while imprisoned at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility, Mills wrote letters to another person with instructions to intimidate a witness in the Exeter burglary case, court records say.

Mills wanted the other person to burn the witness’ house and vandalize his vehicle.

In another incident, Mills suffered a gunshot wound to his leg as he robbed three people inside a house on High Street, Wilkes-Barre, in April 2006. Mills forced his way inside with a crowbar, grabbed a samurai sword off a wall and tried to rob two men and a woman.

The two men fled the house as the woman brandished a firearm and shot Mills in the leg, archives state.

Mills was also charged in November 2005 with hiding then-fugitive Sean Quinn. Quinn was wanted for escaping police custody in Old Forge by slipping out of handcuffs and fleeing in a police cruiser, according to Times Leader archives.


By Ed Lewis

[email protected]