Pittston police capture two people wanted for skipping court hearings

By Ed Lewis - [email protected]
Sokolowsky -
Gubitoso -

PITTSTON — City police investigating drug use inside a fast-food restaurant’s restroom captured two people wanted for skipping court hearings related to a vehicle crash in Wyoming earlier this year.

Michael Sokolowsky, 30, Jolene Gubitoso, 35, and Tamara Williams, 27, were spotted by an officer walking away from Burger King just after 6 p.m., authorities say.

Sokolowsky ran through yards and a cemetery when he spotted an officer. He was caught by police on East Swallow Street after a foot chase.

Gubitoso was arrested in the area of Frothington and Vine streets where she attempted to walk away from an officer, and Williams was detained in a cemetery, police said.

Record checks showed Sokolowsky and Gubitoso were wanted by the Luzerne County Sheriff’s Department for failing to appear for preliminary hearings on unrelated charges.

According to criminal complaints:

Police responded to Burger King on a report of a man and two women using drugs in a restroom. An officer traveling to the restaurant spotted the trio on Vine Street, where Sokolowsky ran away.

Williams told police they were at the restaurant talking to a friend named Tara but did not know her last name.

Police searched Gubitoso’s purse, finding an empty heroin packet, syringes and 26 pills. Williams had drug paraphernalia in her purse plus a key chain sticking out of her bra containing a crystal substance and five pills.

January crash

Court records show arrest warrants were issued for Sokolowsky and Gubitoso when they failed to appear for preliminary hearings related to a four-vehicle crash on East First Street, Wyoming, on Jan. 11.

Wyoming police found a 2003 Ford Windstar van on its side and Gubitoso crying on a curb. Gubitoso claimed Sokolowsky used cocaine prior to driving and crashing the van, court records say.

Sokolowsky crawled out of the van and ran away. He was charged with causing the crash and driving with a suspended license.

Wyoming police alleged Gubitoso assaulted two paramedics while she was being transported to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center after the accident. She was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The charges against Sokolowsky and Gubitoso were sent to county court.

Meanwhile, in Pittston, Sokolowsky was charged with flight to avoid apprehension and failing to appear in court. Gubitoso was charged with escape, flight to avoid apprehension, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and failing to appear in court.

Sokolowsky and Gubitoso were jailed for lack of $15,000 bail each.

Williams was not charged on Tuesday.



By Ed Lewis

[email protected]