JOHNSONBURG — A Johnsonburg man accused of endangering the welfare of children and assaulting area police officers is confined in the Elk County Jail.
Joseph Thomas Woodley, 35, of Johnsonburg, was arraigned at the Elk County Court of Common Pleas May 31 for two second-degree aggravated assault felonies, terroristic threats and endangering the welfare of children, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and fleeing to avoid apprehension.
The Johnsonburg Borough Police Department was contacted by Elk County dispatch April 20 regarding a hang-up call from 403 Legion Avenue. Police responded and spoke with the victim, who lives with Woodley and three minor children, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
The woman told police her father and stepmother arrived that day to bring her children Easter gifts, and Woodley allegedly started threatening to kill the woman and her parents, pointing a gun-shaped hand gesture at them, according to the affidavit.
The two youngest children reportedly stayed in the apartment with Woodley at the time, while the oldest left with the victim and her parents. Woodley allegedly threatened to kill them if they returned, according to the affidavit.
Police learned Woodley was the subject of two active Elk County arrest warrants. When they arrived at the residence again, the victim reportedly told them Woodley had struck her in the face a few days earlier. She reportedly told them she was concerned for herself and her children and wanted to press charges against Woodley. Police went to the second floor of the duplex, where Woodley and his daughter were found in the hallway. He reportedly grabbed her and attempted to slam the door in the officer’s face.
Police reportedly entered and advised Woodley he was under arrest on the outstanding warrants, asking that he put the child down and he refused. Once Woodley discovered police had called for backup, he reportedly threw his daughter at officers, running toward the rear of the apartment and jumping head first out a bathroom window. Police reportedly grabbed his legs, and Woodley then began punching through the window at police, breaking the glass and striking the officer on the right side of his face, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
Woodley then reportedly grabbed onto the power line outside, and said, “If you don’t let go of me, I’m going to rip this off and fry us both,” according to the affidavit. He eventually crawled back through the window, but reportedly continued to disobey police directives once inside. As he was escorted out by St. Marys Police Department officers, he reportedly used his head and upper body to strike one officer in the face, and allegedly threatened to kill an officer and his family once in the police car.
Woodley’s preliminary hearing was held at the office of Magisterial District Judge James L. Martin May 8, and he is confined in the Elk County Jail.