Questions Surround Conduct Of Officer Homanko

NESQUEHONING — Some people who live in Nesquehoning say it was just an accident waiting to happen with a police officer involved in a deadly crash Monday night.

Investigators still won’t say why that officer had his lights and siren on at the time of the wreck but some residents have filed complaints about him in the past.

State police didn’t give us any update Wednesday on their investigation into the deadly crash involving Officer Steven Homanko but we did learn he’s not scheduled for any on-duty shifts in Nesquehoning after what happened.

There is a lot of talk in that community about the crash and about Officer Homanko.

As state police investigate the deadly crash that happened along Route 209 in Nesquehoning Monday night, they have been looking for witnesses who saw anything related to this wreck.

We found one.

“I was getting on the Main Street right before the post office had to pull over because I saw the cop coming behind me flying; he was coming off 54, flying behind me so I had to pull over.”

She says that was minutes before the crash. She wasn’t sure which officer was driving, but wasn’t surprised seeing a cop speeding on Route 209, she and many others here say it happens a lot with Officer Steven Homanko and another part-time officer.

Investigators say Homanko had lights and siren on when he lost control and crashed, killing Carola Sauers of Hazleton and injuring her husband.

State troopers won’t say if there was a chase.

“I didn’t see him chasing nobody,” said the person we talked to. “I was in front of him so I had to pull over, so I’m sure if he was chasing someone. He would have been behind me, the car.”

The borough council president tells us Officer Homanko is not suspended from the Nesquehoning police department but the part-time officer is not scheduled for any shifts because of his injuries. Now the council president says the borough is waiting for the state police to finish their investigation.

“I have no problem with the police department as a whole but this part-time officer and another has been going out of bounds,” said Nesquehoning resident Ed Wise.

Wise recently filed a complaint saying he was mistreated by Officer Homanko during a routine traffic stop.

“Instead of serve and protect, they just seem to be determined to see how many stops or arrests they can get and something terrible has happened,” Wise said.

“I feel bad for that woman. I’ve said to the people who live and work here something’s going to happen bad, I’ve said that so many times and guess what? Rest in peace. I feel really bad for them, I really do.”

Carbon County 911 dispatchers wouldn’t release the transcript of transmissions from Officer Steven Homanko on Monday night, but did say he was not dispatched to a specific call at the time.

Officer Homanko is also a part-time officer in McAdoo. The mayor wouldn’t say it he’ll be scheduled for any shifts there.

52 comments

  • Mr Firley

    Of course. Driving down the highway and a car comes up on your bumber like NASCAR and in a construction zone on top of it. Flash your headlights to move and where are you? 4 miles down the road setting up for speed trap. Where was the emergency? Was it necessary? Nice way to make someone panic or cause a accident.

    • Unknown

      I am not saying what Officer Homanko did was right , but you all are acting like he got up in the morning wanting to kill this lady. All anyone does is bring out the bad in people, what about all the good he did in the community. Yeah he was speeding but were you ever in a situation where your adrenaline was pumping. Instead of picking out all the mistakes someone does and make that person look bad, try to find the positives. You are the reason why the news and newspapers are always negative. My prayers go out to the Sauers’ family, & always to the Homanko family in this tough time.

  • indira

    Police state who hire this idiot has to pay big big $$$$$$ to Carola’s family for killing this beautiful woman!!!!
    Yes, one of them kill her!
    If people only know how this woman was so kind, beautiful I ever know………. she was my inspiration, she came in my life like beautiful butterfly, touch me with graceful beauty and some horrible dumb, very dumb ignorant “killer” destroy all of this.
    I am so sad I have to say something from my hart.

  • Anonymous

    This is a tragedy. Such a terrible tragedy. All my thoughts and prayers are with the husband and their family. This officer should be in jail. Like anyone else would surely. I was a first hand witness months ago to his speeding, reckless driving, cavalier attitude and fabrications before and after a traffic stop. He nearly caused an accident then from the insane rate of speed he came up behind my car. I have never seen that before from any cruiser. I was startled as if something very serious just happened. I was actually going under the speed limit due to potholes and children playing on the nearby sidewalk with a ball. He did actually admit I was going under the speed limit. Unfortunately, I was probably just targeted by his immature envy when he saw me. I am young, was driving an expensive looking high performance vehicle. Has many many miles on it, it looks almost new though, I take immaculate care of it. I thought I could take it for a leisure Sunday drive to visit my Grandmom in Mcadoo on my day off work. He could not give me a good reason why he pulled me over. Perhaps he should have at least exercised similar caution while operating a 4000 vehicle, a potential deadly weapon. I feel horrible a life was now lost. Maybe if I complained further about these issues someone would have changed his behavior, helping to prevent a tragedy. It takes more than 1 or a few people. After I contacted an attorney, I was shocked to hear him say “its terrible what officer Steven homanko has been doing to people in the area for the short period of time that he is on the force.” Hardly 1 year I believe! Hopefully, he will be taken off the roadways. I hope his father, a carbon county district judge does NOT prevent him from learning a lesson. He needs to pay for the death of an innocent person. A person who knew more about helping and actually serving the community than this officer undoubtably ever will. Where are the dash cameras!?!? Federal and state regulators I hope are looking very closely at this officer.

    • wino

      Investigation first, then, if appropriate, criminal charges, trial, and if guilty most definitely prison. They can’t just put him in prison without an investigation unless he was intoxicated at the scene. It’s no different for anyone else.

  • Fed up

    This is just one of the many lives and families Homanko has destroyed since becoming a cop. I believe that someday he will have to pay for all of the inappropriate and shady things he has done. The “Dynamic Duo” Homanko and Curilla are a disgrace and need to pay the piper!!
    KARMA!!!!

  • Ridiculous

    First I would like to offer my sincerest and deepest condolence to the families and friends of these victims in this case. I agree with a lot of the posts on there and some not so much. I don’t get why these part time police officers are the way they are, I’m not saying all are bad because I have met some very nice,respectful,and caring policemen but a lot of these new police officers that are around making bets on how many people they can get and it’s ridiculous. Some are treating ALL citizens like criminals no matter what the situation is. What ever happened to them wanting the people of their community to respect and like them? If I were a cop i would want the earned respect from the people I was supposed to be protecting. But too many of these young new officers racing around doing whatever they want or can to get a piece of action no matter where it is or what it Is. Honestly the ones who act that way and abuse their power really need to be re evaluated as policemen, and seriously some need to get off the power trip. And quit abusing their power they have received!!!! The way I see it treat criminals like criminals and good citizens like good people, and get the respect from your community not abuse the people in it, and then have horrible accidents like this. This is more than likely just going to go away just because of the person involved but I really hope that this cop gets everything he deserves just as a regular person would have gotten!!!

  • Mcadoo

    It is a shame and I’m praying for the family of the lost life. The state legislature really needs to put a policy in place. Not all police officers but Most borough police officers only have Act 120 training certificates.I think there should be stricter requirements or more training. A bachelors degree at minimum. A life was lost over bad judgement. The boroughs of Schuylkill county need money and they target citizens over non sense. Do you really need to speed up a busy street over a broken tail light or burnt out light? They do it in Mcadoo all the time and they harass the same citizens. Same goes for Rush township. Cocky under educated officers that take advantage of their power.

    • gafan

      ONLY Act 120? Do you have any idea what that program consists of? It’s a lot of hard work, physically and mentally. Not to mention the pre-testing to even make it through the front door. They don’t accept everyone.

      • wino

        Hahahaha….Right, they only accept those with a check for $5k. It’s a JOKE. Time for PSP to take over the Act 120 training again. These Jr. colleges are horrible.

    • wino

      Your dynamic duo of Homanko and Curilla actually DO have Bachelor’s degrees. That doesn’t make a person a better cop. It means you have a person with a Bachelor’s degree willing to work for $10/hr to exert authority over people. Kind of scary.

  • jokester

    This officer may have made a life changing mistake but all these people hating..it’s funny they are hating cuz the kid was good at what he did. He arrested scum bags. That’s his job. Most cops these days are lazy. This guy flew around town and made arrests. Idk about you people but I’d rather an aggressive hungry cop over some lazy guy who could care less.

  • Annoyed

    All you people bashing police offers as a whole should be ashamed of yourselves. An innocent woman lost her life due to one police officers negligence and that is a tradegy. I know of many police officers in the area that are great people. It is only the bad ones you hear about. They are the ones that run toward danger when half of you punks would be running away with your tail between your legs.

  • Jason Trimmell

    He does the same things in McAdoo as a Officer he’s no good a lot of these younger part timer’s just talk on cell phones make U-turns in the middle of roads with no lights on and fly around Reckless driving. The only way he is a police officer is because daddy is a Judge in Weatherly talk about it’s all in who you know. I hope he gets man slaughter by vehicle and does time you can;’t replace a life. Carolla was a good customer to us she Tipped us money and brought us donuts when ever she saw us wonderfully person hope they throw the book at him like homoako does for the local Citizen. Rest easy Carolla good bye part timer’s.

  • bobby

    F*uck nesquehoning and jt police all crooked cops ia needs to step in. And they all do drugs and take people s money or drugs and they have there personal ci’s

  • Scumbag Cops

    He’s an absolute menace, and should be put in jail for what he did. This Cop is always speeding around Nesquehoning, thinking he could do whatever he wants, now someone is dead!! And eye for an eye in my book!!!!

  • bonnie sue

    I have seen them make u turns no lights in the middle of intersections talking on cell phones. I’ve had one state police almost run me off the road on 81 comming up on my right while i was in the middle of passing a truck..no lights no sirine. And today i had one do the same thing on 61 going into pottsville at the construction area. Also locally (im in tamaqua) they and most of them i have seen are the new younger ones speeding down alleyways that should be slower than the 25, goign faster than others that speed down the allyway..no lights no sirine.
    Something needs to be done and if u complain about them in rush township they get promoted! They took down the 35 mile an hour sign southbound into hometown from wallmart it doesn’t say 35 o nly till you get to turkey hill but they still are pulling people over …they cruise threw the walmart writting tickets and running plates..
    None of this is right or legal from what i can see

    • Will Robinson

      Yeah…Rush township has their own bald-headed goon. He’s picking them off constantly in the afternoon on 309 south near the Wal-Mart. I also seen this a$$ in Wal-Mart’s lot doing exactly what bonnie is reporting. Thought that was private property? Why aren’t they patrolling 309 in the morning when the traffic is flying through? Oh that’s right…we need to shave our heads.

  • Ashley

    He’ll get away with his negligence. His father is a District Justice for Beaver Meadows and surrounding areas. It’s a shame.

    • netcong

      Don’t worry. PSP isn’t going to give this clown or his father any special treatment. They have dealt with them before.

  • netcong

    This is truly sad and when all is said and done and if this officer is found to have been reckless or negligent in the death of the victim, the lawsuit MUST include Lackawanna College’s “Police Academy”. They really pump out some winners and have flooded the streets on NEPA with rogue part-timers working 3,4 or even 5 departments at the same time. There are some good officers who graduate from the program, but most are undisciplined, cocky know-it-alls looking to exert their new-found authority.

  • Randy

    The reason for that is maybe there is no call in. The witness was clear, there was no other vehicle in the picture, The sad thing is the poor family of the victim. I do indeed hope they treat this crime seen the same as they do against other citizens in this common wealth, instead of saying he was justified, so that give him free ride for his crime. And I did say “CRIME”.

  • marbs

    I have never heard of anything so ridiculous than “part time” Police Officers. Someone just has to get through the Police Academy then shops around for part time jobs at a whopping 10 bucks an hour. I guess you get what you pay for. All Police Officers should have to take a test, be hired from a civil service list and be full time career employees. I would much rather rely on the State Police than part time cops.

    • netcong

      You are correct. The part-time cop revolution has done irreparable harm to the professionalism of law enforcement. You really have to question the motivation behind someone willing to do such a job while purchasing their own equipment and paying for their training to make $10-12 per hour. (Editor, I accidentally clicked “report this comment” when meaning to click “reply”.)

  • David Booth

    This guy picked the wrong dept. If he was a PA Trooper nobody would have ever known anything.

  • Jared

    I used to live in Mcadoo. I was a nice citizen of the small town. I quickly moved away once I became aware of how Homanko AND William Curilla run the place. I will not go into detail, but they treat everyone (no matter what age) as a criminal. They tried to ruin my life and it is a shame that lives are now being lost due to their actions. They abuse their power and make bets on who can make the most arrests during prom night and any night for that matter. They deserve jail time.

    • Jared

      I really wish there was more that I could do about the situation other than post these comments online. If there was some way of protesting these 2 officers, please, someone enlighten me.

      • Everyone

        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!

      • netcong

        What “two” officers? Only one caused someone’s death. You can report what you KNOW about the other officer to his mayor. If it’s just a rumor, don’t waste anyone’s time but if you personally were mistreated make a written complaint to the mayor and cc the borough solicitor.

  • Kelly

    Did you all know that the only poeple that can go though a red light is excaulty the post officer truck. So in that case r we aloud to make a citizen complaint about are police officer that due that because if it was us we would get fine what about them can they get fine

    • Zebulon Conrail (@ZebulonConrail)

      OK, I’m in no way defending what the officer did in this case but let’s not start posting just plain stupid, inaccurate nonsense. The PA Vehicle Code allows police and other emergency vehicles to exceed speed limits and proceed through red lights with due caution as well as drive irrespective of the vehicle code while en route to an actual or perceived emergency or in pursuit of a violator. The driver of the emergency vehicle, however, is not excused from his/her duty to operate the vehicle in a safe manner nor does it exempt him/her from criminal and/or civil action if the vehicle is operated in a reckless manner and results in a crash. Post Office trucks are NOT emergency vehicles.

  • mike

    He pulled me over on top of 54 10 minutes before the crash for having toned taillights….I think he was bored

  • Joe Smith

    jim thorpe or lehighton had something going on and he wanted in on it, he was never dispatched so he is negligent.

    If he was dispatched and they truly needed help thats one thing but he just wanted a piece of the action that wasn’t his

  • mjs6446

    Yes – I do believe that Officer Homanko should be held accountable. Even if he was responding to a call or chasing a traffic violator, he must use due care. It is a shame a life has been lost because of his poor judgment and lack of common sense. He does not have the qualities needed to be a police officer.

  • Mandi

    Some of the police officers in this state, both local and state, are awful. Just last night, I was headed home and a state trooper came flying up behind me on 81 northbound right before the construction by the Pittston exit and high beamed me until I moved out of the passing lane, which I was instructed to get into, because the right lane was closing. He must have gone through the construction zone at a good 80-85mph. I live in Pittston, and when I got off the exit, he was parked along side of it, shooting the breze with a PennDot worker.

  • None

    I wouldn’t so much be worried about nesquehoning or pap sweeping this under the rug, I’d be worried about his dad pulling some strings. I’m surprised the media hasn’t picked up on his dad being a district justice for carbon county

    • netcong

      Exactly. His fellow officers and PSP can’t stand him or his father and his father has stuck his nose in incidents involving his kids before. I hope the father goes too far this time and gets charged himself.

      • gafan

        His Honor swept a dandy incident with brainiac son #1 under the rug a few years ago. I do believe it was a felony or two.

  • Everyone

    Lets see if the real truth comes out for once, instead of another cover up or something swept under the rug. Only issue for them is they can’t cover this one up, because if they do, there will be more heads watching over them, then they already have & need. And what ever happened to turning your badge in, your gun, & going on leave when you’re being under investigation. That is what should have happened to him already. Second, if it was any other person, who was not a cop or had relations higher up, they would have been locked up or facing some sort of charge already. Such a shame, he took an innocent life just to play speed racer.

    • netcong

      No one would be locked up without an investigation being completed unless the driver was obviously intoxicated at the scene. The fact that he is a police officer only means that the investigation has to be MORE thorough. Would you rather him “locked up” without a complete investigation and then have the case thrown out or wait for a full and complete investigation to be completed and a jury finding him “guilty”? Don’t worry… no police officers want to give this idiot a free pass.

      • The silent voice

        Your absolutly correct no police want Homanko to have a free ride. Now because of his poor judgment and carelessness he gives the public a bad taste in their mouths, and as well gave police a reputation.

  • CrazyLarry (@Skyhawk442)

    I say ‘most’ Police horse play on the job. This leaves out all profession. Police need morals and respect for the people, not mistreatment. There was a cop here shinning a flashlight in people’s faces, just for laughs, how stupid. We need real Police, not boys with toys.

  • Unknown

    in wb cops use the lights to run red lights or drive to donut shops i see it all the time, what a bunch of uneducated retards

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