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Ex-police chief chews receipt in theft case

Sat., March 26, 2005

IMPERIAL, Pa. – A former police chief accused of stealing tried to eat a piece of evidence – a receipt – during a court hearing, authorities said.

Darryl Briston scuffled with a state trooper during a preliminary hearing Thursday and elbowed the officer when he tried to stop Briston from eating the receipt, police said. Briston was charged with aggravated assault and tampering with evidence.

The theft allegations relate to Briston’s off-duty work at a tavern.

He was working as a security guard in October 2003 when the tavern’s owner, Raymond Hovan, tried to get his attention by tapping on his cruiser’s windshield with a beer cooler gasket. The chief accused him of damaging the cruiser’s windshield.

Briston eventually collected $1,334 from Hovan to fix the car, but the repair work was never done, police said. Briston cashed the check and never put the money in the borough’s general fund, police said.

Briston denies the theft allegations, and said he didn’t try to eat the receipt.

Briston, 41, was fired last year as police chief in Rankin when he was convicted of stealing $5,885 in cash seized as evidence by police and falsifying receipts to cover it up. Briston was sentenced in January to more than three years in prison in that case.


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