A North Strabane man will stand trial on attempted homicide charges after he was accused of firing gunshots at an occupied vehicle outside a township bar following an altercation with an off-duty sheriff’s deputy on New Year’s Eve.
The sealed criminal complaint against Dee “DJ” Frazee Jr., 27, of 255 Latimer Ave., was made public Friday morning just before his preliminary hearing on numerous charges following the Dec. 31 incident outside Frankie I’s Bar overlooking Route 19 in North Strabane.
Joseph Joscsak, who is a Washington County sheriff’s deputy but was off-duty during the New Year’s Eve celebration with friends, testified they were enjoying the evening shortly before midnight when Frazee began “throwing harsh words” when he walked over to a jukebox and then was “getting hostile” with him. Joscsak testified that Frazee told him he “didn’t care that he was a cop” and the two exchanged words during a brief argument. Joscsak and a few friends decided to leave the bar, he testified, and they were walking toward their vehicle when Frazee jumped him in the parking lot.
Joscsak testified that no punches were thrown, but they got into a “wrestling match” before getting separated. As Joscsak and two other men got into his vehicle and drove away, he heard multiple gunshots and glass breaking. One of the passengers in the vehicle, Matthew Poland, was struck in the right shoulder by either shrapnel or glass from the five to six gunshots that tore into the vehicle, prompting them to drive to Canonsburg Hospital. District Attorney Jason Walsh said after the hearing that Poland was treated and released with minor injuries.
Brandon Vettorel, who was acting as the designated driver taking Joscsak and Poland from the bar, testified he saw Frazee and another man standing in the parking lot and then walking behind the vehicle as he drove away before the gunshots were fired when they tried to leave.
No one besides Poland was injured in the shooting, but North Strabane police Detective Nathan Terling testified they found multiple bullet holes in the vehicle. One of the gunshots struck a rear passenger headrest, narrowly missing Poland. Investigators found six shell casings in the parking lot from a .40-caliber handgun, which was one of five pistols Frazee had registered to his name, although that gun has not been found, Terling said.