Man waives in 3 cases; charges include DUI, drugs, fraud

From staff reports

An Oil City man facing charges in three separate cases waived his preliminary hearings Wednesday in Venango County Central Court.

Scott O’Neil, 39, was charged with 19 counts across the three cases, which involved a DUI crash, failure to make utility payments on a rental property and possession of a controlled substance.

The first incident occurred around 1 a.m. July 20, when Franklin police and firefighters and Community Ambulance Services were sent to the 700 block of Liberty Street for a report of a crash, according to a criminal complaint filed through district judge Matthew Kirtland’s office.

Police observed a Chevrolet Uplander that had struck the back of a Dodge Ram. Bystanders identified O’Neil, who was laying in the grass behind the vehicles, as the driver and suspect in the accident, the complaint said.

O’Neil appeared to have suffered multiple injuries to the abdominal area and signs of impairment related to alcohol and/or controlled substances. He denied drinking but refused to answer officers when asked if he had used illegal drugs or medication prior to the accident, the complaint said.

During a search of O’Neil’s vehicle in preparation for it being towed, police observed unlabeled pill bottles, rolling papers and locked containers, the complaint said.

Blood test results later indicated O’Neil was under the influence of both amphetamine and methamphetamine during the accident, the complaint said.

A search warrant conducted on the vehicle recovered digital scales with white powder residue, plastic baggies, two unmarked medication bottles filled with prescription medication, two containers with Suboxone, marijuana and a smoking pipe, the complaint said.

On July 30, police interviewed O’Neil, who admitted he didn’t have prescriptions for the medications found in his vehicle and had planned to use them for the purposes of killing himself. He further said he changed his plan and decided to drive his vehicle into the parked truck in an attempt to take his life, the complaint said.

The accident caused $13,000 in damage to the Dodge Ram, according to the complaint.

O’Neil was again arrested July 24 after he failed to collect rent and utility checks on a Harriott Avenue rental property. He also failed to make required disposition of funds, and the tenants were living without water and electricity, said Oil City police.

Further investigation by police revealed the water bill hadn’t been paid since May, police said.

When officers located O’Neil, he was found to be in possession of a controlled substance, and additional charges were filed in a third case, police said.

O’Neil was charged with 12 counts in the first case, including felony counts related to intent to manufacture or deliver drugs and damage of property and misdemeanor counts related to DUI and drug possession.

He was charged in the second case with six misdemeanor counts related to fraudulent business practices and misapplication of entrusted property.

O’Neil remains lodged in the Venango County jail on $10,000 bail.