Fight leads to felony charges

LEWISTOWN – A Lycoming County man faces multiple felony charges stemming from his alleged involvement in a physical altercation involving a gun at the Sheetz store in Lewistown on New Year’s Eve, according to court documents.

Christopher Chantho Wayavong, 24, of Williamsport, was identified by Lewistown Police Department as the suspect who caused injury to three others during the Dec. 31 incident.

Police said they responded to a report of a fight and a man with a gun at 11:27 p.m. at the Juniata Street store. Officers found two adult males identified as Peter M. Janitsch and Jason C. Weinberg, along with a male juvenile, sustained injuries from the fight with a man who at the time was only identified as wearing a red hooded sweatshirt, but was later determined by police to be Wayavong, court documents state.

Witnesses told police the incident began as an argument over a thrown snowball in the parking lot, but then escalated physically to the point where the man in the red sweatshirt pulled a handgun and threatened them, police said.

According to court documents, Weinberg told police he attempted to take the gun from the man but was then struck in the face. The man then continued hitting him and Janitsch with the gun, but fled from the scene before police arrived, documents state.

Police said they interviewed multiple witnesses, including those who were injured in the fight. Information obtained from those interviews later led police to believe Wayavong was the suspect they were seeking. Further investigation led police to contact the Mifflin County Probation Office, who did not have a good address for Wayavong but understood him to be attending school in Willamsport.

Documents indicate that on April 23 Wayavong was picked up on a probation detainer and was placed in the Mifflin County Correctional Facility. Police said when they interviewed Wayavong he denied having any involvement in the Dec. 31 incident.

According to court documents, Lewistown Police were able to learn from Williamsport Bureau of Police that a friend of Wayavong had confirmed the handgun belonged to Wayavong. Police said the handgun in question matched witnesses’ descriptions from the incident in December.

Police said Wayavong was charged with six felony counts of aggravated assault and one felony count of possession of a prohibited firearm, along with multiple misdemeanor counts of simple assault, terroristic threats and recklessly endangering another person,

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. today in Magisterial District Judge Jack E. Miller’s office. Wayavong is in custody at the Mifflin County Correctional facility in lieu of $100,000 bail.