Police: Uncle turned gun on nephew

PATTON – Less than a month after James Paul Hoopsick told police that his nephew, Shane Ryan Krestar, approached him to injure or kill an openly gay employee, Hoopsick now finds himself in jail for allegedly threatening another nephew: Krestar’s brother, Shawn.

According to a criminal complaint, Hoopsick threatened on Saturday to shoot Krestar’s brother, Shawn, after a verbal altercation at a Sheetz parking lot in Patton.

Patton Borough police alleged that Hoopsick, 52, of Flinton got into a fight with Shawn around 12:30 a.m. Saturday, after which Hoopsick retrieved a Savage .222 rifle/20-gauge shotgun combination weapon from his vehicle and told Shawn he “wasn’t afraid of using” it.

Police said when an officer arrived on scene, he found Hoopsick positioned at the driver’s side door of a black Ford Ranger, pointing the weapon at Shawn. Hoopsick then moved to place the gun on the front seat, police said.

Police arrested Hoopsick and confiscated the weapon, as well as a box of shells found on the dash near the vehicle’s steering wheel.

Hoopsick is charged with aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person and making terroristic threats, along with two counts of simple assault. He was arraigned by on-call District Judge Max Pavlovich of Richland Township and then sent to Cambria County Prison.

Court documents show he failed to post on 10 percent of a $25,000 bond.

According to state police at Ebensburg, Shane Krestar, 26, of Fallentimber approached Hoopsick either late September or early October, asking him to help “get rid of” a gay employee for demanding a raise and threatening to “play the gay card” if she didn’t get her way.

Krestar was arrested Oct. 18 and charged with two counts each of solicitation to commit criminal homicide, solicitation to commit aggravated assault and making terroristic threats.

Hoopsick said in a Mirror interview Oct. 23 that both of his nephews, Shane and Shawn, had troubled childhoods and a history of violence.

Shane Krestar’s attorney, Thomas M. Dickey, previously stated that there were credibility issues with Hoopsick and that the investigation relied too heavily on Hoopsick’s statements to police.

Dickey also said previously that there was “some bad family blood” between the two, and Hoopsick may have had “a lot of reason to lie.”

Hoopsick’s preliminary hearing with Magisterial District Judge Michael Zungali is scheduled for Dec. 19.

Mirror Staff Writer Kelly Cernetich is at 946-7520.