Police: Winterstown man made threats while drunk, high

Jason Addy

A Winterstown man faces numerous charges after police say he had “what appeared to be a complete mental breakdown” after drinking and smoking marijuana.

On Monday, prosecutors filed 10 charges against Ryan J. Rushton, 31, of the 5400 block of Swamp Road, including two felony counts of aggravated assault, two counts of simple assault and one count each of making terroristic threats and harassment, all misdemeanors, according to charging documents.


Rushton also faces two other misdemeanor charges — possession of a small amount of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia — as well as one count each of public drunkenness and disorderly conduct, both summary offenses, according to charging documents.

About 6 p.m. Dec. 21, Southern Regional Police were called to check on the welfare of Rushton by someone reporting he was “intoxicated on alcohol and marijuana and was threatening to cut the throat of his girlfriend,” documents state.

While responding to the first incident, police were informed that York County 911 had received another complaint about Rushton, according to court documents.

According to the second complaint, Rushton began playing with knives and “acting way out of control” after drinking and smoking some marijuana, documents state. Rushton then threatened his girlfriend with a knife, saying he was going to cut her throat, documents state.

Rushton followed his girlfriend out of the house to a car, where he “continued banging all over the car and on the windows” until she pulled out of the driveway, according to court documents.

After hearing the complaint, Southern Regional officers checked the home and found “the inside of the house was in complete disarray” and “practically destroyed,” with food and clothing thrown around the house, furniture overturned and cat food spread across the entire first floor, documents state.

While searching outside, officers heard a male voice from in or near a wooded area behind the home, “screaming for his mother and asking for a jacket,” documents state.

Officers began searching for Rushton near the wooded area with assistance from two thermal-imaging devices, a scent-tracking dog from the York County Sheriff’s Office and a Pennsylvania State Police helicopter, but they were unable to locate Rushton outside, according to court documents.

Police searched the interior of the home a second time and found a glass smoking pipe in the garage and a metal grinder with fresh marijuana in the computer room, documents state.

With Rushton nowhere to be found, police exited the home to let his girlfriend and her friend retrieve some items before hearing one of them scream, documents state.

Officers found Rushton in the master bedroom, still intoxicated and going in and out of semi-consciousness from being outside in freezing temperatures for an extended period. Rushton also was having sporadic seizure-type symptoms, according to court documents.

Rushton was transported to York Hospital for a mental health evaluation, documents state.