WILKES-BARRE – A city tow-truck driver known for helping police corral suspects has been charged with simple assault and other offenses after police say he went too far by ramming a vehicle believed to be carrying a suspect in a stabbing.
The impact pushed the Honda Accord into a marked police cruiser that had responded to the scene, causing $1,381 in damage to the cruiser.
Police say Robert Kadluboski of City Wide Towing was acting on his own when he drove his truck into the Honda in the parking lot of the former Mark II restaurant on Kidder Street on Sept. 9.
According to an arrest affidavit filed Monday:
Kadluboski was driving near the Mineral Springs housing complex about 11:12 p.m. when he spotted a vehicle that had been the subject of a radio broadcast earlier that night. Kadluboski, who identified himself as “truck 51,” radioed in on the city police frequency to advise officers of the car’s location.
Sgt. Ralph Elick, who was in an unmarked police car, heard Kadluboski’s transmission and caught up to the vehicle, driven by Candice Harris, 21, of Wilkes-Barre, as she traveled on Kidder Street. Elick was following the vehicle when Kadluboski, who was traveling behind Elick, pulled around him into the opposing lane of traffic and drove in front of Harris in an attempt to block her in.
Harris then drove around Kadluboski and continued on Kidder Street, where she pulled into the parking lot to determine why Kadluboski was trying to stop her. Officer Tom Harding then arrived on scene in a marked cruiser with its lights activated. Kadluboski arrived simultaneously and rammed the front of his truck into Harris’s car.
Kadluboski exited his truck immediately after the collision and stated, “Like the ‘Honeymooners.’ Bang, boom, to the moon. She wasn’t going to get away,” according to the affidavit.
Police said Harris’ vehicle also was damaged but did not list a dollar estimate. Harris complained of neck and back pain and is receiving medical treatment, the affidavit says.
Police had been searching for Harris’ car based on information that Andy Diaz, a man suspected of stabbing another man on Meade Street about 9:46 p.m., might be a passenger.
Police later determined Diaz, 22, of Moyallen Street in Wilkes-Barre, had been in the vehicle but exited it before Kadluboski’s involvement. Diaz turned himself in to police about 1:12 a.m. and was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and other offenses. Harris was not charged with any offense in connection with that case.
Kadluboski, 50, of New Frederick Street, is charged with three counts of simple assault and one count of criminal mischief, all second-degree misdemeanors, and a summary offense of reckless driving. The charges, filed Monday, will be served upon him via mail.
Kadluboski declined to comment when reached Monday. He is known to carry a portable scanner in his tow truck and has previously helped police capture suspects on several occasions.
In 2005, Kadluboski blocked the path of a car carrying two men who were fleeing the scene after shooting two people inside the White House Café. Most recently, Kadluboski said he helped police capture Ryan Nash, wanted in connection with a robbery at Regal Café on Sept. 2.
Sgt. Donald Crane acknowledged Kadluboski has helped police in the past. He said in this case, investigating officers determined his actions went beyond acceptable behavior.
“Citizens have a civic responsibility to assist law enforcement ... but there’s a balance of civic responsibility and putting yourself at risk and just going too far,” Crane said.