HARMONY, Pa. – A western Pennsylvania man had several figurative run-ins with his local bank before police said he had a literal one: purposely driving his pickup truck through the bank's front door, causing nearly $100,000 damage.
Police didn't immediately arrest Richard Smorey after the Jan. 1 crash in Jackson Township because they didn't know if it was an accident. But Smorey has now been charged with criminal trespass, criminal mischief and other crimes because financial records revealed he had a motive to be angry with Huntington Bank, authorities said.
Smorey, 59, of Forward Township, was late with payments on his truck loan, was recently denied a $12,000 loan, had restrictions on his checking account because of overdrafts, and had a loud argument with a teller in November, police told the Butler Eagle for Thursday's editions.
Police responding to the crash about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh found Smorey behind the wheel of the truck, with the air bag deployed, and smoking a cigarette. The truck stopped 42 feet inside the bank, which was closed for New Year's.
When police asked what happened, Smorey said, "I drove through the bank," according to a criminal complaint.
Police found no skid marks. "The vehicle's black box indicated it was going 44 mph at the point of impact, and accelerating," said Jackson Township police Chief Len Keller.
Police found no mechanical problems with the truck and said Smorey wasn't intoxicated. There was light snow, but no evidence the truck skidded or slid before hitting the bank.
The Associated Press couldn't immediately locate Smorey for comment Thursday. He's free on bond on the charges filed Tuesday.