Violence in Wilkes-Barre

WILKES-BARRE—It is summer time once again in the city of Wilkes-Barre and police there say warmer weather brings a spike in violent crime.

In the past few days, police have responded to an early morning assault on Blackman Street and then a car chase.

A 37-year-old man was found shot and taken to the hospital.

Investigators are searching for those responsible.

They are also searching for Joshua Ovalles, who they said is on the run, considered armed and dangerous.

Police said he shot and killed a 24-year-old over the weekend after a fight.

According to court records, Ovalles who has been arrested on drug charges before, shot someone else back in January, that person survived.

“Wilkes-Barre is a big city, I mean there’s a lot of cops and stuff like that. It’s like a mini-New York, you know? New York and Philadelphia, a lot of those guys are coming up here to sell their drugs and that’s basically all it is. You know, I just got clean, I’ve been in that game before, I know what it’s like it’s not it’s nothing to mess around with down here,” said Robert Kibbler of Wilkes-Barre.

According to police records, there have been 6 homicides in the city, 6 men shot to death since January 1st.

People in the Diamond City said they do not want Wilkes-Barre to have a reputation as a violent place, but they said, it does.

“It’s bad, I keep hearing people talk about how bad it is getting,” said Mary White who moved to Wilkes-Barre from Philadelphia. She said this city is worse than her old one.

“You gotta keep looking over your shoulder. It don’t seem like it’s getting any better here,” agreed city resident Henry Bruce, who said he thinks Wilkes-Barre is more dangerous than Newark.

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