Saint Clair Borough Council Member Accused of Damaging Cars

SAINT CLAIR, Pa. -- After receiving complaints about several cars being scratched, police in Saint Clair believe they have their man.

Using surveillance video, police were able to pinpoint the alleged vandal who happens to be a member of borough council.

Newswatch 16 went to Saint Clair and knocked on the councilman's door. We asked him about the damage done to cars on his street.

The elderly councilman strongly denied damaging any vehicles.

"I just walked by the car and my knee gave out. I bent down and walked into my house. I would never do anything like that. I am not that stupid."

That's Saint Clair councilman John Houseknecht giving his account of how his neighbor's car ended up damaged last week in Saint Clair.

But police tell a different story and say the damage on North Third Street was no accident.

Police in Saint Clair tell Newswatch 16 that over the past year, many cars have been vandalized.

One car owner took matters into his own hands and put in security cameras.

Five hours later, police say that person's car was damaged.

Police say video from one of these cameras shows Houseknecht walking past one of the cars and swiping it with his right arm.

The council member who is in his 80s admits being by the car but denies doing any damage.

"I am 81 years old. I don't need this kind of crap! I got a bad ticker and bad legs. I just don't need this," Houseknecht said.

Some people living near Third Street have been careful to make sure their cars are not vandalized.

"It is a concern because you want to protect your property, but I have a carport, and I check them when I come out in the morning," said Melvin Cappel.

But despite the video evidence, Houseknecht calls the accusations against him baseless.

"All of a sudden with these allegations and I am not going to ruin my reputation because my reputation is 100 percent," said Houseknecht.

Police are not releasing the video evidence, saying it is part of their investigation.

But police did tell us criminal mischief charges have been filed in district court and will be mailed to the councilman.

9 comments

  • teamjustice69

    give me a ying yang and a cheesesammy and thingys are just fine here.
    just a talking point, how much does the super in st clair district make oh 100k and has been is no high school in 30 years! just an elementary school and a middle school with like 250 students. unbelievable!

  • lickerblisters

    I wonder what headline will come out of the skook today? This county is almost as dysfunctional as Luzerne, Lackawanna and Monroe counties combined! Couldn’t imagine having to live there!

  • navybluesweatpants

    St. Clair. Real good town. They are the smartest and cutest people. There’s a future grilled cheese Sammie entrepreneur waiting in the wings in that town. I miss riding 4-wheeler, raw dogging, sedones, gasway, town sports

  • Mopar Driver (@RustyMopars)

    Nice to finally prove the Council members are just total buttoles and act innocent when caught . Can only hope all the neighborhood treats him like he has them and “res[pects”his property right back – Till he moves out !!!

  • mickmars

    Immediately following the interview, Houseknecht spun his baseball hat around,slung his pants from right below his chest to halfway down his ass, grabbed his can of spray paint, and proceeded to tag the Newswatch 16 vehicle in his parking place. 81 year old teenagers. Only in the Skook…

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