After Deadly Wreck, McAdoo Residents React

MCADOO — In the borough of McAdoo, some people were surprised to learn Police Officer Steven Homanko was involved in a deadly wreck.

“We do like him, we think he’s a good cop,” said borough resident Shirley Friendy, who added she was shocked by the news.

“An accident is an accident, you know? Somebody dies, it’s tragic,” said Tony Perna, who works in McAdoo.

Homanko, 25, is a part-time officer in McAdoo, but was working his other job as a part-time Nesquehoning officer when the crash happened Monday evening.

Homanko started the job in Nesquehoning last year.

State police said Homanko was driving his cruiser with lights and sirens on when he lost control on part of Route 209 i9n Nesquehoning and crashed into a vehicle coming the opposite way.

The driver of that vehicle, Michael Sauers, 64, of Hazleton was injured.

His wife, Carola Sauers, 69, died at the hospital.

At a packed McAdoo borough council meeting Tuesday night, several people came to speak their minds about Officer Homanko, who they said has a pattern of harassing people by pulling them over in their vehicles without cause.

“We’ve been complaining about a lot of this stuff, and guess what? Look what happened. Somebody’s life is lost, because I can’t say for sure, because I don’t know facts, but I mean, if it quacks like a duck, it’s a duck,” said Melissa Paisley of McAdoo.

Some in the community said Homanko does indeed have a reputation as a police officer.

“Young cop, I don’t know. Looking to make a name for himself like everyone says,” said one resident who did not want to be identified.

The mayor of McAdoo refused to comment on Homanko’s status as a borough police officer.

29 comments

  • Babs

    This is such a devastating loss. Carola was an amazing and truly inspiring woman. I’m so blessed to have known her. I pray for her husband and family as they experience this tragedy.

  • toby

    Having competent, ethical, trustworthy police is highly important to public trust.

    Will the public be given the unvarnished, uncensored results of the PA State Police investigation? If not why not? The media needs to file a FOIA request for the results.

    What justified the officer driving in a manner that it caused him to lose control? Police pursuits need to be limited to known dangerous felons for exactly this reason. Use the radio. Serving and protecting is not about killing innocent people who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Any officer who demonstrates poor judgement such that it causes citizen injury or death, or due to abuse, needs to face charges and a permanent lifetime record in USA DOJ dossier. Moving to a new department should not expunge such a personnel matter.

  • Everyone

    As I posted in other news:

    Needs more national spot light. Alex Jones would be perfect. I already know he has some knowledge of it. If everyone else sends it his way, there will be more exposure as well! That’s what these little towns need when peoples voices are falling on deaf ears. And as far as reports going. Verbal or written, they should all be taken seriously. Instead of turning people away when going in to make a verbal complaint. Don’t you think it’s your job & duty to redirect them correctly with filling out a paper for the written report, rather than saying okay, we’ll take care of it & see you out the door. Maybe that’s why there were more verbal complaints, than written ones. They obvouisly need new management or taught better how to address complaints & help the people, rather than turn the backs & ignore it. Don’t Tread On Me!

    Also, I feel for this family. My families prayers go out to their family. Such a shame, she was a great woman who still had so much life yet & gave so much to communities around her. She will be greatly missed.

  • McAdoo resident

    There were no sharp turns this officer was negotiating!!! It was a slight curve of the road leading around the mountain where the crash occurred. If anyone has to negotiate this area there is a serious problem! Yes for technicalities of the story this was a curve. However, I would use that term loosely because it makes it seem as though there was a tricky road pattern, which is completely false!!!

    Also, I live in McAdoo. Iv’e been stopped by Officer Homanko as have multiple people including my family and friends. A family member had to get his ticket thrown out by the magistrate take a day off of work to go fight it. One person was stopped many times with no reasonable explanation. I was stopped and told my lights were out. When I returned home and had the opportunity to check, I realized it was a lie. MANY people have had altercations with officer Homanko. There hasn’t been an end to the issues and complaints stemming around him. And when I say complaints I mean this officer is a household name throughout McAdoo and surrounding towns for being a power abusing, ignorant, smart-mouthed kid. No one in either town did anything about it because they were getting money from all the tickets issued.

    Both town councils should be held just as responsible for this woman’s death because there were a plethora of complaints and no one acted upon them!!!

  • Skeptic

    I chuckle when I read comments like below… “if it was anyone else, they’d be in jail”. Not true. Vehicular homicide charges have to be investigated then work through the system. Nobody gets thrown in jail instantly, cop or not. People love to bash cops, but the truth is that they’re human. They make mistakes just like anyone else. This mistake cost a life. The kid will pay dearly. He’ll never work in law enforcement again, he’ll do jail time, and he’ll undoubtedly pay (along with the taxpayers) in the civil suit that I’m certain the family is already working up.
    Keep in mind folks… you only hear about the bad ones. Good cops don’t make the news. Additionally, even good cops are vilified because, quite simply, their job is to deal with bad people and bad people don’t like being held accountable. They can do everything right and someone will still complain. I could never do police work. Make $12/hr to get dumped on all day? Nah, not my idea of a rewarding career.

    • Will Robinson

      “People love to bash cops, but the truth is that they’re human. They make mistakes just like anyone else.”

      People don’t like to bash cops. People like to bash BAD cops. GOOD cops are human and make mistakes. That’s understandable. We all make mistakes.

      BAD cops make a career out of harassing the local citizens, driving dangerously, and pulling people over for petty offenses, or worse, no offense at all. Other BAD cops condone such behavior by not addressing complaints made by citizens against their subordinates.

      Unfortunately, a BAD cop, who was not stopped by his supervision, finally got caught up in his own bad behavior. And a person was murdered in the process.

      If you expect anyone to feel bad for this clown because his life is changed forever, think about the life he ended.

  • Corrupt Cops

    If it was anyone other then a Cop who did this, they’d be in jail!! I’m so happy the State Police are stepping in to investigate this, since this negligent officer has been on duty in Nesquehoning and McAdoo. He’s been nothing but trouble, I go through, McAdoo, Hauto & Nesquehoning everyday during my 140 commute to and from work, and I hate when I have to go through any of those towns, in fear of being harassed and pulled over for nothing. I know on numerous occasions, I’ve seen this officer speeding in a police cruiser, and I’m not talking about just a little over the speed limit, I’m talking 80-85 mph or faster through these little towns. As for Gibs, I’ve read some of your posts, are you possibly sleeping with this individual???

  • Will Robinson

    Well now…if McAdoo has cops that are out of control, and neither the chief nor council will do anything about it, there’s only one option left. Grab these bald-headed punks and plant your fist squarely into their lying faces. Just have a witness with you who will lie like these cops do and say that nothing happened.

  • Mad In Hazleton

    “An accident is an accident, you know? Somebody dies, it’s tragic,” said Tony Perna, who works in McAdoo………………………………………

    Well tony maybe it should have been one of your loved ones…..the truth better come out on this one, no cover ups…..if it was not a cop or you and I we’d be facing jail time……give the kid a tube of ky jelly and send him to jail…

  • E

    Gibs,

    Are you suggesting that a citizen should not be taken seriously unless they are dressed professionally? I think any tax-payer that attends a town council meeting should be shown respect. The town council exists for the benefit of the people in the community, regardless of their attire. You sound a bit like a politician, shifting focus from anything of substance with inflammatory nonsense.

    For the record, Mr. Grammar, your first post is a run-on sentence, and your second post is full of fragments, improper punctuation, and misplaced modifiers.

    • McAdoo Res

      Well thank you E !!
      Im the guy in the video with no sleeves and apparently no “self respect” according to Gibs. Sorry my attire wasnt up to par for you Gibs. Why dont you rip my punctuation apart now? Then we can have E correct you where you think you excel.

  • Randy

    Lets get the facts, He failed to negotiate a sharp curve, which has resulted in the death of another person, Now the majority of the towns people have things to add about the officers conduct on the job. He did have his lights on, does this give him right to drive erratically, or did he fail to protect the innocent people, The law doesn’t give ordinary people any breaks when an accident occurs, “it a crime scene” not just an accident any more, I want to see the out come and his punishment for the murdered of the person in this case. Come out now and Investigate it. An try doing it right for the people that pay your wage. Remember the law looks at us perps (its murder until we prove other wise). I would hope all the people want Justice in this matter.

    • Seen Him Flying

      This cop has done nothing but harassed people not only in Nesquehoning but in McAdoo as well, he flies around our town, Nesquehoning and now looked what happened, someone is dead because this young punk cops think they are the judge, jury and executioner. And there isn’t no sharp turns b/w Nesquehoning and Jim Thorpe, he was flying like he always does in the police car and killed someone, hope he riots in jail for what he did.

      • Gibs

        Good Lord! I’m not justifying anything that the officer did nor dismissing any of your thoughts or observations, but before you post something that you might want others to take seriously, you might want to check the spelling, grammar, sentence structure and proper use of words so that you don’t appear to be a complete idiot…..

        ” There isn’t no turns….”….??? OMG!! You ought to be ashamed!

      • You get what you deserve!!!

        Sorry, I’m not an expert at typing like you are, Gibs!! Your probably some welfare recipient sitting on your a$$ all day collecting my tax dollars, these cops are more corrupt then the criminals!!!

  • Matt from McAdoo

    And he is not the only one. Office Curilla is just as bad, if not worse. Maybe it will be an eye opener to all these guys. Getting pulled over because they thought your plate light was out is not resonable cause.

  • Snshn

    My sincere condolences to Mr. Sauers.
    It does seem that many officers are taking their status as a police officer too far and using it as a means to “make a name” for themselves.
    If indeed this officer has a past history of using his authority to the extreme, than I believe that the council or whomever is his superior is as much to blame for the officers conduct.
    So sad!

  • jtz109

    Sad situation for everyone involved. Towns like McAdoo will never be competitive in getting quality police officers due to their size and small budgets. Sure, there are small towns who do have quality officers and honest council members who hold them accountable. Police officers enforce the laws of the town in which they serve. It sounds like there are no checks and balances, as well as follow-up and accountability, with their law enforcement. Sounds like a root-cause to me. Prayers and blessings upon the Sauers family!

  • McAdoo Res

    I attend council meeting regularly and this was the first time council woman Marion Debalko didnt tell me to “shut up” and “im full of it.” And its bc the cameras were there.
    One woman complained that her daughter wont work overtime bc she gets pulled over and the cop hits on her, like hes impressing her. Shes afraid to drive home at 12:30am.

    • Gibs

      LOL! You’re right there! Another observation ! If a person wants to be taken seriously at a Town Council Meeting one might suggest that when they stand up to speak, try wearing a shirt with sleeves!..or even a collar!! And not a sleeveless T-Shirt that they dug out from the bottom of the laundry pile and wore when they cut the grass!! Have some self respect for goodness sake!

      • Friend of the "working" people.

        So somebody who may have just gotten off of work and is wearing their work clothes to a council meeting can’t be taken seriously? You’re a very shallow person. And yes I know many of those people in the video…and they are more respectable than you Don’t judge by how they look….

  • Bill D

    As soon as I saw the 1st report i said to myself i bet he was chasing NO ONE! guess time will tell now. They do not do enough to screen these policemen in small towns! Especially young guys who get a simple act 120 certification and get to be judge jury and executioner sometimes! They often abuse their power as is the case here obviously from reports!

    • Randy

      Bill your right, I don’t feel lights alone should warrant Justification for driving erratically, and in this case, I would have been interested in the comments from the “com” center, on the reasoning for his pursuit.

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