A 19-year-old man tried to convince a Stockertown police officer he does not live in a tent the officer found pitched on private property, insisting he stays with his friend in neighboring Tatamy.
That explanation came up short, however, when police found the so-called friend, who said he never heard of the other man.
Court records say Michael Koble, with no known address, was charged with defiant trespass, false swearing - mislead public servant, and disorderly conduct.
Stockertown officer Alex Soloe said in a criminal complaint that he was on routine patrol around 7 p.m. Sept. 24 behind the borough sewer plant on property owned by Pennsylvania Lines LLC -- also known as Norfolk Southern Railway.
He found a tent with blankets and other items “that made this officer believe someone was living on private property.” No one was in the tent. Soloe placed the tent on the ground.
The same night, Soloe interviewed Koble, who was at the Stockertown Rod & Gun Club. He said he had never seen the tent, “but does pass through that area daily” while traveling to Tatamy to stay at a friend’s house.
The next day, Soloe noticed the tent again was upright. And inside he found a packet containing information for a “questionnaire for national security positions.” The packet included two names, one of them Koble’s father, the complaint said.
Soloe again talked to Michael Koble, who said he must have dropped the packet while walking to his friend’s house in Tatamy. He identified the friend as a resident of Seventh Street who owns a Chevy pickup.
The officer talked to Tatamy police, who said a man with a different last name than the one Koble provided lives on Seventh Street and owns a Chevy pickup. Soloe went to the man’s house. The man said he does not know Koble and that Koble does not live there.
Soloe tried but failed to find Koble. He had not found him as of Friday. But Koble was taken into custody Saturday.
He was arraigned by on-duty District Judge Todd Strohe of Bangor and committed to Northampton County Prison after failing to post $5,000 bail.
Koble was released, however, after posting 10 percent of his bail, according to court records.