DA: Killing of York City man during home invasion justified

  • The Dauphin County District Attorney's Office said the shooting death of York City man Servando Santos was justified.
  • Officials say Santos was on meth and cocaine when he beat an elderly woman to death.
  • Santos then broke into a home, where a guest shot him.
  • Santos died from his wound.

The shooting death of a York City man who forced his way into a Dauphin County home in early September was justified, according to officials.

The Dauphin County District Attorney's Office said Monday, Oct. 30, that a guest in a Lower Paxton Township home was justified when he fatally shot 23-year-old Servando Santos, of York City.


Police say Santos beat a woman to death with a wooden two-by-four before breaking into a home in the 2000 block of Fairway Lane in Lower Paxton Township on Sept. 10.

A guest in the  home, Stephen Arentz, shot and killed Santos, according to officials.

Santos was on drugs during the incident, and the DA's office said Arentz acted with "legal justification and proper restraint" in using deadly force on Santos.

More:York City man shot, killed in Harrisburg-area home invasion

Shooting: The DA's office said Santos was on cocaine and methamphetamine when he beat 79-year-old Patricia Hovan to death with a wooden two-by-four in her home.

Santos then forced himself into a  nearby home, where Arentz, brother of the homeowner, warned Santos multiple times before firing two shots without striking him, officials said. 

Santos continued to advance into the house, and Arentz shot twice more, with one of the bullets hitting Santos in the abdomen, according to the DA's office. After he was shot, Santos continued to resist and was physically restrained when police came.

The incident was called in to police  about 6 a.m.

Police say Santos continued resisting officers when they arrived.

Santos was taken to Community General Osteopathic Hospital in Harrisburg, where he died from his injury, Lower Paxton Township Police said. 

"Without question, Stephen Arentz acted with legal justification and proper restraint in using deadly force in this case," the DA's office said in a news release.


Drugs: Santos was a guest of Hovan's adult son, who lived with Hovan, officials said. Both Santos and Hovan's son took methamphetamine and cocaine before the incident that led to Hovan's death, the DA's office said.

An autopsy on Santos showed that he had an "extremely high level of methamphetamine intoxication" during the incident, according to the news release.

The blood level concentration of the drug in his system has been reported to cause methamphetamine abusers to have violent and irrational behavior such as the behavior shown in Santos' case, the DA's office said.

"Use of methamphetamine made Santos an immediate danger to others and ultimately resulted in his own death," according to the DA's office.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser