Over the weekend, I told you that Tricia Mezzacappa, West Easton's Constable and donor to DA hopeful Tom Carroll, has been charged with making false statements to the Pennsylvania State Police. Yesterday, I reviewed the complaint and Affidavit of Probable Cause prepared by Trooper Drew Hoffman, giving me a good idea of what police say happened.
On February 11, Trooper Hoffman responded to Mezzacappa's next door neighbor, a couple with a newborn infant. This baby needed milk, and dad was dispatched to the Giant to get some. When he started the car, Mezzacappa "appeared out of nowhere and was banging on his driver's side window." Dad said that Mezzacappa was "irate" and yelled at him to "get the F out" because his exhaust was too loud. She also said she'd take him to court.
Dad did as he was told and called Mom. She said that while he was on his way to the grocery, Mezzacappa began banging on Mom's front door "demanding that she get [Dad] out of the neighborhood."
Dad happens to be a black male.
Troopers then interviewed Mezzacappa. She told them that she had been returning home for the night when she was accosted by a black male who "pointed a gun to her head as she exited her vehicle ... ." She told Troopers "she then fired a round from her handgun, and the black male "fled the scene in a vehicle."
Clearly, she was attempting to railroad Dad.
At the request of troopers, Mezzacappa produced the gun she claimed to have fired. It was a Smith and Wesson MP-9, complete with a 17-round magazine. Trooper Hoffman noted that the magazine was full, with no round in he chamber. He indicated that the pistol was incapable of being fired even if the trigger was pulled.
Troopers began the laborious task of looking for a spent shell casing, and were unable to find one.They also conducted "multiple interviews" with neighbors. None heard anything that sounded like a gun being fired. There were also no calls of gunfire to the Belfast barracks.
Mezzacappa voluntarily relinquished her handgun, which was sent to a state police regional lab for testing. Dirt and debris were noted at the muzzle inside the barrel, but after one shot the dirt and debris were gone. Based on this and other tests, state police concluded that the weapon was never fired at the time and place Mezzacappa said it was.
Instead of charging Dad, as Mezzacappa had hoped, she is now a criminal Defendant. This is a third degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled July 22, 9:30 am, before Magisterial District Judge Richard Yetter. She is represented by distinguished Allentown Attorney John Waldron.
Several years ago, Mezzacappa had complained to police about another next door neighbor because a cabbie had beeped his horn when he stopped to pick her up.
At that time, West Easton was served by the Easton Police Department. According to a report prepared by Easton Patrolman Charles McConagle, Mezzacappa complained to him that her neighbors, who happened to be black, "should have stayed in the projects."
Officer McConagle spoke to the neighbors about this incident, learning that Mezzacappa had told one of them to "take your black ass back to Philadelphia." Mezzacappa also used the word "niggers," and the Easton cabbie later told the patrolman that he heard her use this term, too.
In addition to examining court documents, I filed a Right-to-Know with West Easton for any correspondence from or by Mezzacappa during this time. I received a copy of an email she sent a few days before to the Borough's Emergency Management Coordinator. He made the mistake of knocking on her door to warn of a snow emergency. She complained he "was banging my door down, like a hysterical drug addict in need of cash for his next fix. Last time a drug addicted addict [sic] appeared on my porch doing same, he was greeted with a semi automatic rifle." .
He's white, so she just threatened him.
An online petition seeking her removal as a Constable already has 50 signatures. Unfortunately, thee is no mechanism for removing her except impeachment or conviction of an infamous crime. She could be required ti resign in any plea deal she reaches with prosecutors.
Updated 2:20 pm: Mezzacappa's preliminary hearing has been continued again. It is now scheduled for Wednesday, August 28, 1 pm. before Magisterial District Judge Richard Yetter in Wilson Borough.