Assault Suspect Surrenders in Towanda

TOWANDA — A suspect wanted on charges of attempted criminal homicide and aggravated assault surrendered to police Monday evening in Bradford County.

Towanda police tell Newswatch 16 that Blake Dieffenbach, 25, of Troy, turned himself in around 7 p.m. He was arraigned and locked up in the Bradford County Prison on $100,000 bail.

Police say Dieffenbach assaulted Donald Burrell, 55, inside Burrell’s apartment on Maple Street Friday night.

Neighbor Bill Strope says he heard some yelling around that time.

“The kids next door constantly, so it’s nothing to me, so I turned up my sound machine and I went back to sleep. When I woke up in the morning, there were flashes going on around the building, state police were out there,” said Strope.

Investigators say Burrell is now in the hospital; Dieffenbach fled after the attack and remained at large for almost three days.

Brett Tillotson works at a group home next door and believes he saw Dieffenbach come to Burrell’s earlier in the day with a girl.

“And, he walked up here and went into the house. He was there 15, 20 minutes,” said Tillotson. “He, like, came right back down and got into the car and opened something up and they left.”

Strope says he didn’t know Burrell well, but had no issues with him.

“We always got along. Why this happened, I have no idea. It’s just brutal.”

Towanda Police say it’s not clear why Dieffenbach was at the apartment or how or if the two men knew each other.



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