HOLLIDAYSBURG - Two Blair County parole and probation officers said they ran into trouble Monday when they went to talk to Don Ralph Ickes of Osterburg. Ickes, who previously has declared himself to be a "sovereign man," refused to let them in his home.
One officer entered the home to talk to his Ickes' daughter. When he proceeded to the second floor of the home, he was confronted by a gun-toting Ickes, probation officers allege. The armed officer backed away and went outside. State police from Bedford responded, according to Cory Seymour, the deputy chief parole and probation officer in Blair County.
An ensuing standoff lasted an hour until a state trooper was boosted through an open window. The trooper unlocked a door, and a contingent of state police entered and took Ickes into custody.
Ickes was taken to the Blair County Prison to await possible charges from state police and the outcome of a probation violation hearing.
Seymour said Ickes will first go through a hearing within 14 days to determine if he may have violated his probation. If Ickes is found to be in possible violation, he will have a second hearing before a judge. If it is determined Ickes has violated his probation, additional sanctions, including jail time, can be imposed.
Ickes, 79, was sentenced in November to two years' probation by Blair County Judge Daniel J. Milliron after being convicted of resisting arrest, harassment and a variety of traffic violations.
Those charges stemmed from a 2011 traffic stop by a state trooper who saw Ickes speeding through a highway work zone on I-99.
Once stopped, Ickes refused to get out of his car and would not hand over his driver's license for police inspection.
Officers noted his license plate had been issued by the Embassy of Heaven and was not what police consider a legal plate.
When Ickes refused to get out of his car and a standoff occurred, officers decided to break his passenger-side window and remove him from his vehicle.
That confrontation, with Ickes shrieking as he was being removed from his vehicle, was videotaped using equipment in a state police cruiser and was viewed by the jury deliberating his case.
Seymour said the Blair County Parole and Probation Office recently received a letter indicating Ickes had been violating conditions of his probation.
He said he could not, as part of office procedure, discuss Ickes' possible violation of his probation.
But, Seymour stated, Ickes also was not to have a weapons in his home.
Probation officers Bill Decker and Scott Shultz were at the Ickes home Monday to talk to him about his possible noncompliance with conditions of his probation.
Ickes was "passive aggressive" toward the officers, Seymour said.
While sitting on his outside deck, Ickes "made it clear we were not welcome," said Seymour, speaking from information provided by Shultz and Decker.
Ickes allegedly told the officers he had a right to defend himself.