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Man Faces Burglary, Assault Charges

by on May 26, 2017 3:03 PM

A New Jersey man is facing felony and misdemeanor charges after police say he caused damage in a State College residence, knocked a resident unconscious and broke in after being told not to come back.

According to the criminal complaint filed Friday, a resident at an Adams Avenue house reported to State College Police on April 23 that two friends -- Christopher Cunalata-Castella, 21, of Long Branch, N.J., and Michael Tamayo, of Ocean, N.J. -- had been visiting for several days but began causing trouble on April 22 when they returned from the Blue-White Game and started being rude and confrontational.

Police said Cunalata-Castella and Tamayo then proceeded to cause damage to the residence, breaking a coffee table, lamp and other items, punching holes in the walls, smashing doors and damaging rain gutters.

The two men left to go to a bar and while they were gone the resident and his roommates decided not to allow them back into the house. After putting their belongings in Tamayo's vehicle, the resident left notes on the doors to the house telling them they weren't welcome back.

After Cunalata-Castella and Tamayo returned from the bar and began knocking on the door, the resident met them on the porch and told them they were not welcome back. Cunalata-Castella then allegedly punched the resident in the face, knocking him unconscious for about 10 seconds. The resident later received treatment at Mount Nittany Medical Center. He told police he suffered a concussion, lacerated lip and minor injuries.

Later that night, Cunalata-Castella returned to the house and began banging on the front door, according to the complaint. After being told he wasn't welcome, he then went to the back door and tried breaking in, damaging the glass window and wooden frame of the door, police said.

He then allegedly went to the resident's bedroom window, damaged and removed the window screen and crawled into the house through the window.

Police were called and, according to the complaint, officers noticed two of Cunalata-Castella's fingers were lacerated. He reportedly told them he accidentally cut them playing with a knife. Police said they observed blood from his injuries on the front door and on the bedroom window sill and handle.

Cunalata-Castella was charged on Friday with felony burglary and criminal trespass and misdemeanor simple assault, criminal mischief - damage to property, and recklessly endangering another person. He was arraigned before District Judge Steven Lachman with unsecured bail set at $25,000.

Tamayo was charged with misdemeanor criminal mischief - damage to property and arraigned via summons.

Preliminary hearings for both men are scheduled for June 21.

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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