Police Officer Involved in Deadly Wreck Put on Unpaid Leave

homanko

NESQUEHONING – Newswatch 16 has learned a police officer involved in a deadly crash in Carbon County has been placed on unpaid administrative leave.

Nesquehoning’s borough council voted Wednesday night to put officer Steven Homanko on unpaid leave, according to borough Council President David Hawk.

State police are investigating a crash involving Homanko’s cruiser and a car on Route 209 between Nesquehoning and Jim Thorpe earlier this month.

A passenger in the car, Carola Sauers, 69, died.

Her husband, Michael Sauers, 64, survived the wreck.

So far, no charges have been filed in connection with the deadly crash in Carbon County.

62 comments

  • watchmen

    We need to look at the core of the problem not just this police officer, and how these municipalities conducts business, employee policy and the police officer misconduct shows the way leadership is handled in these municipalities, nothing will change if these people aren’t voted out or forced out, we need leadership
    for best interest of the people, not for their friends and family, I see a lot of push back from residents, this has gone on for to long, I love to someday testify against McAdoo, on how they profile there residents/youth into
    “suspension of drug dealers” database and pictures they get from third party vendors. But yet friends and family of established leadership can break the law.

    “Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.”
    -John Adams

    • Citizen12

      You are correct. The problem in this area are the township supervisors and borough council members. The good people who know how to run businesses are busy with their lives that they don’t have time to devote to public service. The people who can’t balance their checkbook then get elected to these positions and they then automatically know how to run a municipality. In turn they want control over the police department so they can tell the officers, don’t arrest this person because they are my friend. There is no reason to have all these municipal departments. There needs to be regionalization of police departments. It works everywhere else in the state. But when township and borough officials realize that they are going to get better caliber officers and that they are going to lose control of the police department to a police Comission. Another problem is what these small police departments pay. Good officers are going to get the higher paying jobs. When you pay 8-15 dollars an hour, you are going to get an 8-15 dollar an hour police officer.

  • gafan

    There has been SO MUCH swept under the rug courtesy of Big Daddy Homanko, it would make you sick. This is just the latest stunt pulled by a member of this elite bunch. Two words: GOOGLE IT

  • Concernced citizen

    I have only been living in this area for awhile and do not know everyone involved nor do I know much of the history of the area. Also in general I do believe that those who chose to protect and serve do so with honor. I am also realistic that I know some do it for the sense of power it gives them which leads them to make poor decisions or for other non altruistic reasons (ie material gain) which leads to corruption. When that happens they should be held accountable. Now after all that I have been told by those who live in the area is that they were not surprised this officer was involved in this crash and that it was only a matter of time. Their reasons for saying this were that he reguarlly would speed around town with and without his lights on and that he has an arrogant attitude. I was also told that all complaints about his behavour were swept under the rug due to a family member of his working for Carbon County government. If this is true I hope the state investigation will find it out and address the issues including measures againt those who did not address the complaints appropriately if that is the case. If someone has proof of these issues they should come forward to the state police and give them the evidence. Getting to the truth is the only way any change or justice can be served. Just being a police officer does not make him automatically guilty of wrong doing as it also does not obsolve him of bad behaviour.

    • dragonflymay21948

      That is one of the best comments thus far to include mine! I feel that if this cop is bad put him thru the legal process and give him the same rights/judgments afforded anyone else…just don’t convict him till the truth is all out! He was put on unpaid leave…that says to people he’s guilty…but it hasn’t been tried! I’m sure I don’t know enough info about this officer to make an opinion on THIS case, so I will not be voicing any more opinions in this case…since I was told to shut up by previous person and called names by many…I apologize to those who I have offended, and thank those who looked at this in at least a fair light…not ALL cops are power crazy, some may be over enthusiastic in their job with good intent as I feel this DePrenda was and he never meant any harm!!!!

  • Tired of it All

    That’s one bad cop down for the time being. Now how about the other part-time clown working for McAdoo PD? Or the Rush Township cop who writes you up for “speeding” when the speed limit signs are missing? Or the Rush Township cop who drives around Wal-Mart’s parking lot (private property), running plates for expiration? Homanko isn’t the only piece of dirt wearing a badge.

    • Chris

      There don’t have to be a sign to enforce speed. And it don’t matter if it’s private property or not. Wal-Marts parking lot is considered a traffic-way…he can enforce any law there. Know what your talking abt before you open your mouth. I am sure you despise police because you were speeding and were issued a citation you feel you didn’t deserve.

      • Pa Driver

        Not only can’t you use proper grammar, YOU are the one who doesn’t know what you are talking about. By law, if the speed limit drops from 45 to 35, a sign must be posted advising of the reduced speed. That very sign has been missing for months. So anyone driving 45 mph, yet being written up for exceeding the so-called 35 mph zone was wrongfully cited. Also, speed limit signs must be posted at specified distances to be enforced. If no signs are posted, the legal speed limit is 55 in rural areas, 25 in urban areas. Also, there is no law against having a car with expired registration or expired inspection parked on private property. Yet this Rush Township clown patrols the lot, calling in plates, and checking for valid registrations. The lot is NOT a “traffic way” (whatever that is supposed to mean). If it was a public street, the township or state would be plowing it during the winter. And no, I did not receive any citations for speeding.

      • Mark

        This is the definition of a traffic-way as per Title 75 section 102 – Definitions – “Trafficway.” The entire width between property lines or other boundary lines of every way or place of which any part is open to the public for purposes of vehicular travel as a matter of right or custom.
        So this means any parking lot…Wal-Mart parking lot is a traffic-way. Now how stupid do you look? The officer can run plates and then wait for the vehicle to be operated. Duh!

      • Mark

        Oh and just to enforce the above here is Pa title 75 section 1301a- (a) Driving unregistered vehicle prohibited.–No person shall drive or move and no owner or motor carrier shall knowingly permit to be driven or moved upon any highway, or traffic-way, any vehicle which is not registered in this Commonwealth unless the vehicle is exempt from registration.
        Boom!!!!

      • Val

        Pa Driver- hahaha! You should probably know what YOU are talking about. You just got your statement shoved right back in your face!! Another know it all who don’t have a clue. Go Mark!!!

      • Joe

        Padriver- you’re a stupid idiot. Pretty much what you’re saying is…go to Wal-Mart and deal drugs in the parking lot and steal anything you want off their shelves. It’s all private property and the police can’t do anything. You’re a complete moron.

    • dragonflymay21948

      I imagine he is in an emotional jail already…sad that it all happened, sad for both families involved…maybe you think he should be taken out and hung too?! I’m not amazed at how vicious people can be…he didn’t wake up that morning and say to himself’ This looks like a good morning to smash my cruiser into someone and kill someone!’…ravenous wolves!!!!!

      • citizen

        dragonflymay, you must be as stupid as the officer involved in the incident if you think he is not in the wrong here. I can only pray that you are not an officer. Please keep your unintelligent drivel to yourself.

      • dragonflymay21948

        I know nothing about this officer personally, what I have heard isn’t good but that doesn’t mean I need to not have an opinion! Just because it differs from yours and you have a problem with that must be your personal problem, everyone has a right to their opinion…as for ‘me being an officer’ read the posts if you are concerned! Ooohhh does that make me the boogie man? Get a life…you one of those cop haters? Or are you genuine as a law abiding citizen? I don’t know you to make any judgment, so vice versa!!!

    • dragonflymay21948

      I would imagine whatever is ‘thrown’ at him won’t be as bad as what memories of being responsible for this death will do to him every day!
      I believe he will have more punishment from within himself than what an angry pack of people can do to him as well!!! Cops are human too!!!!

      • gafan

        LMAO. Take my word for it, the only thing he is regretting is the fact that hes in this mess to begin with. You must not know this guy very well. Those of us who do are just amazed by you commenting as though you know the first thing about this psychopath.

      • dragonflymay21948

        Yes you probably DO know him better than we who aren’t cop haters…I’ll accept that…I just don’t lump people from the same profession in a box as if they are one…let’s just leave it at that okay???

      • dragonflymay21948

        I asked you if I directed AT you and said you were a cop hater…there a lot of people on here who seem to be cop haters…I did not say you were…just that some of us weren’t cop haters…perhaps the Looney Toon theme is there because you are one? I guess that is just your IQ? You haven’t told me what reality you feel I am removed from…you just toss your words around like you have no reality so were you seeing your reflection ? Hummm …let me see, yep that was your reflection for sure! Perhaps YOU should get a job as a politician…steeped in crap already so dig out that government check!!!

      • gafan

        You are really out in left field somewhere. I mean WAY OUT. I swear I hear the Looney Tunes theme song running in my head every time I read one of your comments.

  • Paul Kersey Clean up streets!

    I think the cops needs to SLOW DOWN, ever see them just drive around? I see them romping the gas peddle tail gateing, swirving in and out of traffic but wait there COPS and they do anything. There are some good cops but too many RAMBO COPS!!!! Get a life and I hope he is found GUILTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Citizen12

      You need to realize something. You don’t know why that police officer is speeding, and you don’t know why he is weaving in and out of traffic. Police do respond to incidents without activating their lights and siren, it’s called a silent deployment. A few years ago I do remember reading about some citizen who thought he would be smart and follow a police officer on the interstate who was speeding. The guy video taped his own speed and continued to follow the officer. Well the officer was responding to a domestic with shots fired and the smart citizen jumped out to confront the officer who was trying to take care of the incident. Well let me tell you the citizen changed his tune when an angry gentleman emerged from the house shooting…he changed his tune. Needless to say the citizen was arrested to hindering an investigation….and the police seized his phone and used his own footage of him speeding that he was going to attempt to jam up the officer with to convict him of speeding. Yes, there are police who are Rambos as you call it, but the majority of them are upstanding individuals. There are bad people in all professions…do we say we hate all firefighters for speeding in the fire truck and being all over the road? Do we hate all teachers because we got a bad grade? Come on people. None of us were in the car when this incident happened. And to say you know what happened is just speculation. But I realize, most ppl on here just love to hear themselves speak, open their mouth before thinking and haven’t the slightest clue about law, police policy, administration or procedure…but just love to think they do.

      • dragonflymay21948

        Citizen12… Great response… Some ppl don’t have a clue! Can’t say they can crawl into any officers head and know what danger may be ahead for them!!! Be safe out there!

  • Randy

    I feel he has a right to paid leave until the trial is over an the out come is rendered, Now it looks like you tried the Police Officer. Was it because he wrecked the cruiser or because of the death by auto.

      • Nellie

        I do not know the officer, the indicent is very tragic. However all the individuals on here saying all police are dirty and so on are nuts . Just because you had gotten arrested for something you shouldn’t have been doing, or had a bad encounter with the police is no reason to lump all police in one group. That’s like saying you hate all teachers because your second grade teacher gave you a bad grade once. It just shows the level of stupidity and uneducated people on here. None of you are familiar with police policy, procedure or administration, and to open your mouth and say some of the stupid stuff you do just makes you look like a complete idiot.

    • dragonflymay21948

      I agree, but like you see anywhere…judgment before the facts are all in and his family are now thrown into chaois…its bad enough that a life was lost and that persons family has to suffer!!! Cops seem to be guilty until proven otherwise!!! Sad all around!!!

  • Alison

    Dragonflymay21948 you are a very ignorant person. Kathy is speaking of Homanko who is the person in which this entire discussion should be about. His father is the magistrate. I don’t understand why you are so stuck on DePrenda and what he did. Just because you feel he was wronged doesn’t mean every officer in the country is being wrongly punished like you say for “simple accidents” that just so happen to kill an innocent person. They are two separate incidents and therefore you shouldn’t assume he is being wrongfully punished. You said numerous times in your comments that you do not know all the facts so why don’t you stop running your mouth about this entire situation until you get your facts straight. Everybody but you seems to get it.

    • dragonflymay21948

      You are very correct that I was being unfair and am a little biased where law enforcement is concerned…but I an only uninformed because ALL the facts haven’t been told, you don’t know me nor I you…and I was wrong in response to Kathy…but at that second I was being tramped on by people who see cops as something they aren’t and that was my frame of mind…I apologize to Kathy, but I see cops get a bad rap all the time…there are so many great cops out there and a bad one here and there…but they are still human, and make errors in judgment from time to time and a life lost by them in however it happened is their burden to carry, they don’t just shrug their shoulders and say/feel nothing! They know a life was lost and its their fault…I’m very protective in heart for cops, I know what its like to love one and loss him forever!!!!!

  • Ian

    I just finished reading ALL your post about the police officer involved death to a citizen. It is very tragic… It is even more tragic that it was caused by a uniformed police officer in the line of duty. I myself am a Trooper, not in Pennsylvania, but nevertheless feel for the Trooper. This is something he has to live with for the rest of his life. None of us wake up, telling ourselves that “I think I am going to cause an accident and kill somebody today”!

    With social media today, EVERYONE is very quick to show blame and to Monday morning quarterback the facts of the events. Simply put… WE ALL as motorist, when behind the wheel have an obligation to pay attention on the roadways and to our mirrors, as police officers we have an obligation to exercise due care when responding to calls for service. It is not easy to ride around all day on a moving bill board and expect the public to know what we do and why we do certain things. People die on our nations roads everyday, but when the headlines show that it was a cause of a police officers actions, we all loose…. we loose faith in the men and women that are sworn to protect us… we loose the belief that the majority of Police out there are good hard working sworn members of there perspective department and we start to loose respect for an officer just doing there job.

    My prayers go out to the family who have lost their loved one and my sympathy goes out to the Officer involved, the burden he now carries on his shoulders is his and his alone. We can argue this incident till we are blue in the face but then we all loose, the best way to deal with this is to educate ourselves, and know that the death of the civilian, while tragic, should never clout our minds that accidents do happen and that WE ALL should exercise care when driving these roads.

    And “No”, we are not perfect, I put my pants on just like anyone else, I suffer in this economy just like everyone else and I tell myself everyday for god to watch over me and my family knowing that everything I do is watched, monitored, criticized and judged by the citizens I am sworn to protect. I can’t make everyone happy and I won’t make everyone’s day, but I am GRATEFUL for the job I have and the reputation that those before me have made!!!!

    Ian

    • dragonflymay21948

      You sound very much like the officers/Troopers I know…I salute you for the risks involved in your job every day and I know that its stressful on your family because when you put on that uniform and go out the door they don’t know if they will see you return…thank you for keeping our cities/ towns/ roads safer and may God watch over you and keep you safe!!!!

  • dragonflymay21948

    Chris…what I know is the Troopers in our area do a really good job at doing their job…so I only have part of the information due to living 4 hr’s away…not everything I receive has full story’s to but I will stand by DePrenda because I really feel he has been misjudged in what he did in trying to get to that Trooper who needed it…His dad was a County cop and he was proud of his dad!!!

  • Tom

    You do realize there actions that people have to be held accountable for. Something tells me if the officer who was acting reckless ran over your family member you would not be so passive. You act as if there are no criminals or bad cops in the troopers or townships. You cant be that naive. They take a civil service test to get the job rofl. If I hear they put their life on the line one more time I am gonna barf. Tons upon tons would do it if the pay was right. Thats why there are not huge requirements to become one. The salary sucks

      • dragonflymay21948

        I’m not the least bit naive…and if a relative of mine pulled into the path of any oncoming car and was killed it would be a tragedy but hold a Trooper responsible for trying to get to where he needs to be would not be the case…I can’t speak for their reasons for becoming cops but I am thankful for the troopers where I live doing their jobs! If that makes you need to barf then feel free!

      • dragonflymay21948

        I didn’t know that…did any of them testify for him??? Just how did that testimony go? I just know that DePrenda probably thought the more inexperienced Trooper needed help and he was trying to get to him to do just that…please enlighten me on how this testimony went!

    • sully

      Tom, you are FOS. Easy to get in to policing??? Salary Sucks??? You may be correct if your talking about a 3 man department, but in many, many cases, you are just plain FOS. Some departments pay very well, competitive with teachers salaries and sometimes better. Healthcare in many departments is outstanding, no co-pay, no employee contribution, eye, dental, and all for the officers entire family. Vacation time to burn after 3 yrs. As far as testing for police, it all depends on the agency. Some will have 400+ applicants for 4 positions. Easy to be a trooper??, Again, your FOS. I’ll give you an example of a LOCAL department’s testing requirements. Yep, a written exam, a physical agility( called 50 percentile, means 50 % 0f 20-29 yr olds can not do it), oral interview(4 hrs long). If you get through that, next will be the background investigation, mine dove into the middle school years. If you get past that and are still eligible, you have the mental health exam. As long as you have no criminal history, and have made this far, AND are in the TOP 3%, you move on. MILITARY Vets get preference if they Are in that group of course. College education is a must. All the officers I work with have at LEAST a bachelors. And Im not talking about the state police, Im talking about a borough police department who screens the officers well, and goes after the best applicants. (14 officers total). TOM, face it, you are FOS, don’t have the “goods” to be a police officer, or the guts. You hide behind your computer sticking up for turds because you are one, but you would be the first to run when you and /or your poor partner are facing a life threatening incident. Sounds like you actually always wanted to be a police officer, Im sure your criminal history prevented that idea, or you could run a couple of miles because you can’t see you feet. You couldn’t pass the test I took on you best day pal. Now, continue to talk you BS to people who don’t know, they will listen.

      • dragonflymay21948

        I know I said I would shut up but Sully…so very grateful to you! Some/most ppl don’t have a clue…they think cops just have it easy and doughnuts and coffee…I wish I could have back one very precious officer who I would have stepped in front of a bullet for…he was my life, my love… And I will go to my grave loving him because NO ONE could ever take his place in my heart!!!!! Thank you Sully!!!!!

      • Tom

        Oh Sully so bitter. Actually have a 4 yr degree from St Lawrence University. I am currently a RSM for a pharma company. I would have never chose to enter police work. It is low reward low paying job. Have a few buddies that became Sheriffs in the state of NY and a cousin that is a NY State Trooper. All are underpaid, depressed(they wont tell you they are) and have broken marriages for a reason.
        Keep putting on the blue shades brother and fight the good fight with your 50k salary and small mans syndrome.

      • Tom

        Also would love to challenge you to a 3k run and push up contest. Can be held at any department or event you choose just its on the up and up for you seem a bit hot headed

  • James

    For doing their jobs? Are you serious?? He went into the opposite lane of travel during a busy time of the day and cost someone their life..the was car he was “chasing” was cleared of any wrong doing.

    Sorry to break it, a good 80 percent of the police around here are nothing but power hungry ticket writers which in my eyes earns you the title of “scumbag”

    • dragonflymay21948

      Really, are you kidding me??? You are the scumbag!!! If you get a ticket you were breaking the law!!! Simple as that!!! I hope you never need one of these ‘Officers’ to come when you might need one because they would come protect your sorry butt as well because that is their job…YOU go into law enforcement and have to make those split second decisions and see just how tough the job can be…feel sorry for you, you must be dome sorry person who doesn’t obey the law!!!

      • Richard.

        The only time I would call a police officer is in a life or death situation at home, in which I would go to my own gun cabinet for self defense 11 times out of 10. Whether you like the police of not, the point here is that the officer is deemed at fault and will suffer the consequences whether you like it or not. “Doing what they’re paid to do.” Really? They’re paid to get into deadly accidents? No one blamed the officer for not doing his job, the officer was deemed at fault for the accident, there is a serious difference. If the officer was accused of running the opposing car of the road and killing a passenger for no reason, then you could say we were accusing him of not doing his job. If it were any other person besides a police officer I bet your opinion would be different and you’d be wondering why they were not doing anything about it.

      • dragonflymay21948

        Richard, I do not have all the facts of THIS case…so I may be wrong where this officer is concerned… And I am not being unsympathetic where the loss of life is concerned…its tragic anytime someone dies in a deadly crash…but accidents DO happen and that is why they are called accidents. I was just outraged over what happened with Trooper DePrenda…had that person just looked in his side view mirror that accident may never have happened…but it did, that man pulled into the path if that Trooper with his lights and sirens on…it just seemed in his case to be using him to be an example!

  • dragonflymay21948

    This was just a simple accident the same as Officer Jonathan DePrenda’s…stop punishing our officers for doing their jobs and do yours and protect those who are out there risking THEIR lives for the citizens…when did wrong become right and right become wrong??? I see people who pull into the path of other people all the time out of wrecklessness…not that this was the case here but you ppl in authority above these Officers need to use you heads and know that accidents however tragic are still accidents…stop punishing these Officers!!!! It makes you look as if you are trying to please people instead of backing up the Officers doing what they are paid to do…keep it up and the Officers will feel their hands are being tied and next thing you know you will be blaming them for not doing their jobs…I have great respect for our law enforcement and you are making them look bad!!! You Troopers and Officers keep your head high you are just being wronged, I know for sure DePrenda was!!!!

    • chris

      You do know the PA State Police are the ones that testified against DePranda at the hearing. So you seem to be praising the same ones you are saying that wronged DePrenda. You seem a bit out fo touch with reality. You live in some Utopian world where police are all perfect

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