A Pennsylvania woman was caught on surveillance cameras busting her way into a small-town police station looking for the police officer she’s been sexually harassing since he arrested her last May, police officials said.
Ashley Kristen Keister, 28, of Nanticoke, was booked Monday on charges of aggravated assault on a police officer, harassment by communicating lewd or threatening language, two counts of criminal mischief, two counts of institutional vandalism, loitering and prowling at night, disorderly conduct and burglary, according to court records. She is being held in the Luzerne County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond.
West Wyoming police Chief Curt Nocera told WNEP in Moosic that Keister’s harassment of the unnamed officer began after he arrested her. Court records show that Keister was arrested May 4, 2018, in the borough, located about 15 miles southwest of Scranton, and charged with defiant trespassing, resisting arrest and making terroristic threats causing serious public inconvenience.
She was arrested later that same month in the borough of Kingston on charges of harassment and simple assault, the documents show.
Nocera said the alleged harassment of the West Wyoming officer had been ongoing on social media since May but got worse last week. The chief told the news station Keister began sending the male officer drawings and calling 911 asking to speak to him.
Nocera said he confronted Keister about the harassment just hours before she is accused of breaking into West Wyoming’s municipal building, which houses the police department. The building was closed to the public for the night.
“I made her sign a piece of paper saying that she wouldn’t contact (the) specific officer like she’s been (doing), sending him upwards of 20 plus messages a day,” Nocera told WNEP.
A few hours after signing that paper, Keister again called 911 and told a dispatcher she was going to the West Wyoming municipal building looking for the officer, the chief said. Surveillance footage from outside the building shows a woman identified as Keister knocking angrily on the door several times before picking up a cigarette butt urn that stood near the door, gripping it like a baseball bat and smashing in the glass door.
Watch the surveillance footage below, courtesy of ABC World News Tonight.
Footage from inside the building caught what happened next.
“She then entered the building, rummaged through the filing cabinets out in the borough building (and) tried to gain entry again by trying to kick the door in from the borough side into the police department,” Nocera told WNEP.
The Citizens’ Voice in Wilkes-Barre reported that Keister went through the filing cabinets looking for documents on the investigation into her alleged harassment of the unnamed officer. After walking back outside through the broken door, Keister used the urn to break more of the glass out of the door frame, the newspaper said.
Photos obtained by the paper show the door to the building surrounded by shattered glass and the urn lying on the floor inside.
The newspaper reported that Keister went to her vehicle and sat inside, waiting for officers to respond to the building. When an officer arrived, she charged him and swung at his head, police officials said.
Her alleged assault of the officer was also caught on camera. It took a second officer to help get her into handcuffs.
Nocera told WNEP that the department has to “beef up” security.
“(We need to) look around at all our municipal buildings -- fire, EMS (emergency medical services) and police -- to make sure that people like this can’t break in and get to first responders,” the chief said.
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.