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Attempted burglary suspect rescued after falling over hillside in Penn Twp.



PENN TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Emergency personnel and rescue crews helped police arrest a man accused of breaking into a Penn Township home early Tuesday morning.

Authorities said the man, Benjamin Staab, tried kicking in the door of a home off of Home Drive in Level Green about 7:30 a.m.

Investigators said Staab, 24, ran from the house after breaking a window and realizing people were inside.

Betty Harp said she and her husband are still shaken after Staab tried forcing his way into their house.

 “I came out of the bathroom and as I was walking down the hallway, I could see this man banging at my living room door,” Harp said.

The Harps told police he ran into the woods.

After about a 20-minute search, detectives realized Staab fell into a ravine near Bedford Square Drive and was trapped along a steep hill.

A rope-and-rescue team from Penn Township Ambulance and North Huntingdon EMS/Rescue helped to pull the suspect to safety from the heavily wooded area, detectives said.

Firefighters from Level Green and Trafford used chainsaws to cut down brush leading down the steep hill, officials said.

According to Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE, the man was also involved in a domestic incident in the Level Green area a few hours before the attempted burglary.

“We’ve been dealing with this one particular young man for months now,” Penn Township Police Chief John Otto said.

State police used a helicopter to help township police try to locate the man, but Otto credited his officers for trekking into the woods to find him.

“It was possible because a couple of patrol guys decided to go the extra mile and sniff this guy out,” Otto said.

Police said Staab was taken to an area hospital to be check out. He was released from the hospital and taken for a preliminary arraignment.

He is charged with criminal attempt to commit burglary, criminal mischief and criminal attempt to commit criminal trespass.