A Douglass Township man told Berks County 9-1-1 dispatchers that he was going to shoot his neighbor if he didn’t stop setting off fireworks Sunday evening, then nearly struck a township policeman with his 4,800-pound pickup truck when police arrived at his residence, investigators said Monday.
Morris A. Manley, 61, was taken into custody at Taser-point by Officer Bryan D. Sockel and Police Chief John Dzurek in front of his home in the 100 block of Glendale Drive.
Manley was free on $25,000 bail following arraignment late Sunday before District Judge Stuart D. Kenney on charges of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, making terroristic threats and related counts.
According to investigators:
Shortly before 6 p.m., Manley called the emergency dispatch center complaining about fireworks. He said he was “going to shoot the neighbor if he does not stop.”
Dzurek and Manley knocked on the door of the neighbors' house. A woman answered the door and said she was the only one home and no one was setting off firearms.
The officer went to check the area further, and a large, diesel pickup truck approached with Manley behind the wheel. Manley pressed the horn and didn’t stop sounding the horn as Sockel approached. When instructed to stop, Manley replied that there’s no noise ordinance in the township and hurled a profane insult at the officer.
The chief informed Manley that fireworks were not being set off by the neighbor and ordered Manley to get out of the truck. He refused.
After Manley repeatedly refused to follow instructions, Dzurek said he was under arrest for disorderly conduct.
Mansley put his window up, shifted the vehicle into reverse and started to back up.
Sockel believed Manley was going to drive in reverse to his residence, a distance of about one-eighth of a mile, so he headed to his patrol vehicle to cut off Manley. That’s when he heard the truck shift gears and the diesel engine throttling.
As Sockel approached the driver’s side of the patrol car, he turned around and saw the truck coming directly at him.
He yelled at Manley to stop, but Manley continued to accelerate, passing the front passenger side of the patrol car, coming within 6 inches of hitting Sockel.
Dzurek used his patrol vehicle to block Manley’s driveway, but Manley drove on the lawn to get around them.
Dzurek and Sockel ran up to Manley’s truck with Tasers drawn as he got out of the truck. They ordered him to get on the ground. At first he refused but eventually complied.
Manley hurled another insult at Sockel and said, “I’ll see you outside of work sometime.”