After taking a swim in the Susquehanna River late Tuesday afternoon on the South Williamsport shoreline, two teenage boys were assaulted by an intoxicated man who demanded money from them as well as from three other teenagers, according to borough police.
Within 90 minutes after the attack, police took into custody Bryan A. Yaggie, 31, of 351 Academy St., and charged him with 24 criminal counts.
During the ordeal, which occurred just before 6 p.m about 100 yards from Sylvan Dell Road, Yaggie, while holding a bottle of vodka, made sexual threats against the group, which included three boys and two girls ranging in ages from 13 to 15, police alleged in court papers.
When Yaggie first approached the group, he demanded $20 from them, police Cpl. Carl Finnerty said. The teenagers told him they did not have any money but then offered him $12, the officer said.
"He told them that was not enough," Finnerty added.
Yaggie suddenly became aggressive, grabbing one of the boys and pushing him into some heavy brush, Finnerty alleged.
A second boy, using his cellphone, attempted to call 911, Finnerty said investigators were told.
However, before the boy could complete the call, Yaggie attacked him, putting his arm behind his back, grabbing the phone and breaking it apart, the officer alleged.
The boy managed to break away after striking Yaggie in the face with his free hand, Finnerty said. The five youths then ran up an embankment to the Susquehanna RiverWalk, where they soon ran into an off-duty police officer, who called 911 for them, police said.
All five teens gave officers a detailed description of the assailant, including the clothing he was wearing, Finnerty said.
Borough police received assistance from city police as well as officers from Pennsylvania College of Technology.
For nearly 90 minutes, officers kept surveillance of a 1,500-foot area of the river walk, watching for any sign of the attacker, who they suspected was hiding in some brush.
The fathers of two of the juveniles involved in the ordeal arrived in the area and began looking for backpacks that the youths had abandoned during the attack.
Borough police were about to deploy the department's K-9, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois named Dany, when one of the parents yelled that he had spotted the alleged assailant lying on the ground near some heavy vegetation, about 100 feet from the river walk.
On orders of police, both parents backed out of the area as officers moved in to take Yaggie into custody without incident.
However, at the police station on West Southern Avenue, it was a different matter entirely. Yaggie was "extremely disruptive, causing damage to a door in the holding cell," Finnerty said.
Yaggie was arraigned before District Judge Jon E. Kemp on multiple counts of robbery, attempted robbery, terroristic threats, harassment as well as one count each of criminal mischief, theft, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.
He was committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $250,000 bail.