Police: Hazleton Man Who Shot At Officer Sent Porn To Minors

April 11, 2018 GMT

HAZLETON — A Hazleton man who shot at a city police officer and then killed himself inside his home during a roughly four-hour police standoff also sent pornographic images to minors, police say. Multiple law enforcement agencies in six states contacted Hazleton police Monday and Tuesday saying Joseph Polin, 46, communicated over the internet and through mail, sending pornographic images and letters to teenage girls about 14 years old. Hazleton officers were contacted about the claims by police in California, Tennessee, Minnesota, Vermont, New Jersey and elsewhere in Pennsylvania. Early Monday morning Polin dispatched a long, rambling post from his Facebook account and in it he threatened to kill himself and another man and to kidnap two girls “for perverted reasons.” Polin admits to having killed himself and also asks readers to decide what he did before he died, posing the question of whether he shot a man he identified by first name in the head, “Or I’m going to play ‘Child-Sleeping,’ because I am a big pervert and want to take a cute teenager for Joey Time before I died.” “You really should try to figure out what I decided to do before I died,” he wrote. He mentioned two minors by their first names and referenced that he found them on a YouTube channel. He also pointed out that kids have too much information about their lives available on the internet, including their addresses, toward the end of his manifesto. He boasted about having a collection of email addresses from girls on the SAK YouTube channel, some of which were out of the country in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Polin complained about financial and health problems in the post and lamented over money owed to him by a relative. He said he decided to kill himself in November, made a final request for the handling of his remains and pointed out his attraction to Sara Gilbert, an actress on the television show “Roseanne.” That post caught the attention of one of his Facebook friends, who contacted Hazleton police. Officers went to Polin’s house, a half-double home at 305 E. Elm St., to investigate the post further. One officer in the rear of the home was shot at by Polin and returned fire before the rear door was closed, police said. The officer and another who was with him left the property to await backup. Police Chief Jerry Speziale said the officer was being treated for trauma. Polin, for about four hours, refused to leave his home despite officers’ continuous efforts to coax him outside to surrender peacefully. Once those efforts failed, officers broke into the home, finding Polin dead inside. The Luzerne County Coroner’s Office conducted an autopsy at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Wilkes-Barre, ruling around noon that Polin died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The revelation of Polin as an alleged child predator encouraged Hazleton police to use it as an example to remind parents to be proactive. Speziale said parents need to be aware of who their children are communicating with as the current situation could have turned more serious had Hazleton police not been proactive and responded to Polin’s Facebook post Monday. Speziale said computer software is available for parents to monitor their children’s activity. He said anyone with information about any potential crime or concern should contact the Hazleton police at 570-459-4940 or at www.hazletonpolice.com. For this specific investigation, Hazleton police will forward that information to the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office for further investigation and review. Luzerne County detectives are investigating the shooting as it involved a Hazleton officer. Contact the writer: achristman@standardspeaker.com; 570-501-3584