Crime fails to shake Glen residents’ resolve

By Ashley Luthern


Robert Pesa has a message for the 14-year-old boy who held a gun to his head in April: “I’m not moving.”

On April 13, the 73-year-old and his wife, Gay, were walking their two dogs on Newport Drive when they noticed two teens approaching them. The Pesas live in the northern part of the township known as the Glen.

“He stuck a gun in my face, touching my forehead, and then he moved it up my head,” Pesa said. “I thought, ‘This is it.’”

But for some reason, the boy didn’t shoot. Pesa screamed at the boy, who turned and ran. Boardman police arrested a juvenile May 11 on charges of aggravated menacing in connection with the incident.

At a Nov. 8 hearing, the juvenile entered a plea of admission to the crime — but there was no gun specification on his charge, said juvenile court officials.

Assistant county prosecutor Anissa Modarelli declined to comment because it’s an ongoing case.

A sentence is pending a disposition hearing, said juvenile court officials.

The 14-year-old has been put under a no-contact order, meaning he must stay away from the Pesas and cannot be on their block.

This isn’t entirely satisfying to Pesa.

“I don’t want him in jail, I don’t want to ruin his life, but I’d feel better if he was restrained from the entire Glen” indefinitely, he said.

Pesa’s definition of the entire Glen is the area bordered by Shields Road, Midlothian Boulevard, Market Street and Glenwood Avenue. The teen who was arrested lives on Glenwood.

Residents of the neighborhood where the crime occurred have become closer and more proactive, said Lynn Kirkwood, vice president of the Forest Glen Homeowners’ Association.

Association members “are constantly talking about how to keep the neighborhood safe,” Kirkwood said, adding that an increased police presence helped.

One suggestion from association president Susan Sweeney is for residents to drive on a few extra streets in the neighborhood on their way home from work.

“If you’re coming home after dark, since you’re out anyway, drive up and down some of the streets,” Kirkwood said. “So it costs an extra four and five minutes, it’s a little something we can do to protect our neighborhood. I’m happy here, and I’m not going anywhere.”

Kirtwood said a couple of homes are for sale in her neighborhood, but many of the people selling are leaving for reasons unrelated to the April crime.

“I don’t know of anyone who has put their house on the market, sincerely, because of the quote-unquote trouble that we had,” she said. “They understand that this is going to happen, sometimes, in every neighborhood.”

That is something Pesa noted, too.

“The Glen was, and still is, one of the premier places to live,” he said. “This happens every day in every place.”

Vince Bevacqua, an association member, said the sale of homes in the neighborhood is “generational.”

“We didn’t have a mass exodus,” he said. “...I bought my home because it had an older homeowner and one day when it’s too much for us, another young family will buy it. That’s typically what happens in the Glen.”

Bevacqua described life in the Glen as quiet.

“There’s been nothing for months now, and we’re back to normal,” he said. “We’re not going to forget about it, and we’re always going to be aware and do what we can to keep it safe.”

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