By KALEA HALL
A Poland Middle School teacher, who has been with the district for 13 years, was arraigned in Boardman court Thursday evening on felony charges of complicity to robbery and fleeing and eluding police.
Irene Consiglio, 46, of Canfield, a special-education teacher for Poland schools and a track coach, is accused of being the driver in the robbery occurring outside the Market Street Sandwich Factory on Wednesday.
Schools Superintendent David Janofa said Consiglio has not been in the building for the past couple of weeks, was not in the building Thursday and will not be in the building today. Janofa, who became superintendent this year, said the situation is very unfortunate.
“I don’t know what her past history is, but I don’t believe this is the type of performance that we are accustomed to,” he said.
At 6:45 p.m., Boardman police responded to the robbery. The victim, a 67-year-old Columbiana woman, told police she was just getting into her car when a white man approached her and grabbed her purse, forcing her to the ground, according to the report.
The victim suffered minor injuries to her head, elbow and hands and said she did not see the man leave the scene with her purse. The victim had $900 cash, two checks issued to her for $1,500 and $60, and debit and credit cards in her purse.
Multiple witnesses saw parts of the crime take place. One witness ran after the man, but could not catch him before he got into a gray vehicle with a temporary tag.
Within minutes, police spotted the vehicle traveling west on U.S. Route 224 near West Boulevard. Boardman police stopped a silver Hyundai with a temporary tag, which matched the description of the vehicle.
The vehicle was pulled over on Route 224, but the driver fled in the car as the officer moved to step out of his cruiser to approach.
The driver, identified as Consiglio, was chased by police until she pulled over into the Blue Wolf Tavern banquet center lot on Lockwood Boulevard.
The officer had believed there was only one person in the car, but as both vehicles stopped, a man jumped out of the Hyundai and ran into the woods by the banquet center.
Officers chased him into the woods, yelling at him to stop. Police were still looking for him Thursday evening. Police tracked him as far as the Oakwood condominiums and found a hat and jacket.
Consiglio, placed under arrest, faces two felony offenses: fleeing and eluding and complicity to robbery.
Witnesses who came to the Blue Wolf scene identified the vehicle Consiglio was driving as the getaway car.
One witness also identified Consiglio as the driver of the vehicle, the police report says.
The victim’s purse was recovered from under the driver’s seat.
Consiglio gave police the name of the male suspect. Police wouldn’t say what relation the 25- to 30-year-old man has with Consiglio.
Consiglio has no criminal history, but has been involved in civil actions, including a foreclosure from 2012. Consiglio’s pay at Poland Local Schools is being garnished for an unpaid debt she owed to The Villas at Lookout Point, a condominium company in Canfield.
Consiglio has a preliminary hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday in Boardman court.