Police: Newberry Twp. man choked girlfriend, threatened to kill EMT

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

Police are seeking a Newberry Township man accused of choking his girlfriend, swallowing her anxiety medication when an officer showed up at their home and threatening to kill an ambulance worker, apparently vexed over having to wear a face mask.

A warrant has been issued for Samuel Ryan Soloninka, 41, of the 2200 block of Valley Green Road. His Facebook page says he uses Ryan as his first name.

He was already a fugitive with three outstanding out-of-county warrants when police were called to his home the evening of Aug. 26, according to charging documents. 

Soloninka will be charged with the felonies of strangulation, aggravated assault and aggravated harassment by a prisoner, as well as the misdemeanors of simple assault, making terroristic threats, theft, receiving stolen property and illegal possession of a controlled substance, court records state.

Samuel Ryan Soloninka in a 2015 photo

Charging documents filed Sept. 3 by Newberry Township Police allege Soloninka and his girlfriend were arguing over his criminal charges and about money, and that the argument turned physical.

Soloninka allegedly pinned the woman to a bed, slapped her face, then used both hands to choke her until she was unable to breathe, documents state.

When police arrived, Soloninka stole his girlfriend's generic Xanax, which were hidden in a dresser drawer, and took at least 30 pills, documents state.

An ambulance was then called to take Soloninka to the hospital, police said.

When an ambulance and emergency medical technicians arrived Soloninka refused treatment and said if they tried to treat him, he would "swing on them," charging documents allege.

Handcuffed to gurney: Officer Douglas Klinefelter took Soloninka into custody and handcuffed him to a gurney for the ambulance ride, according to police.

"The defendant was irate about having to wear a mask … and was very combative" toward an EMT, documents state.

He repeatedly tried to spit on her during the ride to York Hospital and actively resisted having a mask put on him, according to charging documents.

Soloninka told the EMT that when he was released he was going to get a gun and shoot her, documents allege.

"Eventually the defendant passed out, due to the medications ingested," documents state.

Soloninka was treated and released from York Hospital, a hospital spokesperson said.

At the time of his Aug. 26 arrest, he was wanted on a bench warrant for failing to appear in Snyder County Court on Sept. 20, 2019, to address a contempt allegation, according to court records.

Those records state he was delinquent on his payments in a bad-check case to which he'd previously pleaded guilty.

Theft, burglary charges: He also was wanted in Cumberland County on two warrants, according to police.

In one of those cases, he failed to appear for an October 2019 preliminary hearing in which he's charged with 42 theft and related offenses, court records state.

It's unclear which of his other Cumberland County cases generated the second warrant noted by police.

He is also awaiting preliminary hearing on charges of burglary, criminal trespass and theft, filed in August by Hampden Township Police, records state.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.

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