Northampton County District Attorney Terry Houck is a career prosecutor who worked in both Bucks and Lehigh County before coming here. Many people are unaware that Terry was a cop himself, patrolling the streets of Philadelphia while going to night school at Temple Law. You might think he'd be inclined to look the other way when a police officer or someone in law enforcement commits a criminal offense. You'd be wrong. His office has taken a Washington Township police officer and West Easton constable to trial over criminal matters and has obtained convictions. His office is currently prosecuting a Lower Saucon Tp police officer as well.
Houck explained that his job is to "follow the evidence and nothing else." He's disagrees strongly with the "rush to judgment" that a mob pursued last summer against an Allentown police officer who did nothing wrong. But he made clear that no one is above the law. "Everybody who comes in here is going to be treated the same," he pledged.
Late Tuesday, a jury returned a verdict of guilty to terroristic threats charges brought against Mark Gwozdz, a Washington Township police officer who also has been Chief in both Roseto and East Bangor. He allegedly threatened wife #3 "to kill you before I give you anything." He also said that he wished he had put a bullet in the head of one of his previous wives. He's been on paid administrative leave since the charges were filed in October 2019. He even went to Hawaii, although his girlfriend complains they really had to rough it.
Assistant DA Judy Gabrielle Chaverri prosecuted Gwozdz, who was represented by Matt Goodrich. The case was tried before Judge Stephen Baratta, who will sentence Gwozdz on June 16. He faces a maximum sentence of five years.
In March, West Easton Constable Tricia Mezzacappa was convicted of making false reports to the Pennsylvania State Police in an effort to frame a black male neighbor with pointing a gun at her head. Judge Baratta sentenced her to six months of probation with numerous conditions, including a ban on contacting the victim. She almost immediately violated the no-contact ban and informed officials she had no intention of complying with probation. She was picked up in Berks County and is currently waiting for a bail revocation hearing with Judge Baratta. It's scheduled for 10 am today.