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RIP, Officer John Wilding, Scranton PD

SCRANTON — Scranton’s police chief said early Sunday morning officer John Wilding, who was critically injured Saturday morning while chasing robbery suspects through the city’s west side, has died.
According to police, Wilding died at 1:28 Sunday morning at Geisinger Community Medical Center as a result of injuries suffered in the line of duty.

Scranton police are asking “the public keep Officer Wilding and his family in prayers during this time of sorrow.” Officer Wilding leaves behind a wife and two children.

He is the first Scranton police officer that died in the line of duty since Sgt. James Sable in 1986, according to the Scranton Fallen Officers Memorial.

Police arraigned Nasiir Jones, 17, from Scranton, Isiah Edwards, 17, who authorities say was homeless, and Tanner Curtis, 17, also from Scranton early Sunday morning at police headquarters in Scranton.

The three juveniles are accused of stealing an SUV in Scranton.

Police charged the three juveniles with robbery, terroristic threats and recklessly endangering another person.

Authorities say all three will be charged as adults.

Officers responded to the 300 block of North Main Avenue Saturday in Scranton.

It was in the pursuit of those three juveniles that Scranton Police Patrolman John Wilding was injured.

The commotion woke neighbors out of bed. Rich Molnar of Scranton said, “The sirens first, and then the lights flashing, and the cops hollering, ‘Stop! Halt! Drop! Put up your hands!”

The police chief says officer first started chasing a suspected stolen SUV down Lafayette Street. Three juveniles got out of the SUV and an officer followed them on foot in the parking lot behind the Vault Tap and Kitchen on North Main Avenue.

According to a witness, the chief says patrolman John Wilding leapt over an ivy-covered wall and fell. In the dark, you may never know about the drop that is about 15 feet.

Eric Shraud’s business, J.C. Multiservice, is just next door. He said, “It’s very sad what happened, the situation and my heart goes out to that police officer and his family. We pray for them, you know.”

Newswatch 16 met Patrolman Wilding, 29, back in January while featuring the unique job he has in the department, patrolling the city on foot.

Wilding’s described as passionate and dedicated. The police chief says in his first year with the department, he almost never took a day off.

We were in touch with his family Saturday afternoon, they asked for privacy at this time but also for prayers.

My friend and neighbor Bruce, also known as Bruce, was a friend and coworker of Wilding when he worked for the Dunbar armored truck company. He says: "John was a good guy. I mean, the kind of guy who always went out of his way to do "the right thing". Doing that seemed to be a matter of pride for him. Never afraid of hard work, always ready to pitch in or lend a hand no matter what the situation was. At first, when I first started working with John, I thought the guy was trying to impress me. Me - of all people. LOL Nope, that was just the way that he was.

John was a remarkably intelligent man. Though we mostly discussed politics, followed by work (including "security" work and my experiences in security and investigations - which were conversations that he initiated, a very curious person, John) and guns, we discussed everything from current events to local history.

You would have been better off for having gotten to known John. Anyone would."
Unbanned since September 2012.
Thoughts going out to the family of Officer Wilding, as well as Bruce, who I have only met via the internets. FWIW I feel compelled to respect anyone Bruce holds in high regard.
“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”

William Pitt
The 3 also had hand guns, 17 yrs olds, i just left a voice mail with the DAs office asking, begging, him not to bargain away the weapons charge against these thugs.

Anybody reading this, please do the same.

(570) 963 6717.
When all around you is falling apart, grab another beer and smile.
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