Two men who reportedly wanted to explore and photograph a mothballed coal-fired power plant Saturday in the Mon Valley ended up shutting down a railroad while police searched for them for hours.
Monongahela police filed burglary and related charges against Christian T. Goulione, 23, of Erie County, and Hunter Collier Scott, 22, of Pittsburgh, stemming from the incident at First Energy’s Mitchell Power Station, court records show.
Police accuse them of crawling through holes in two fences topped with barbed wire and pulling open shop doors about noon to enter the plant in the Courtney section of Union Township, charging documents indicate.
Officers were dispatched to the plant off Route 837 on 50 Electric Way to investigate a report of a break-in involving two men wearing backpacks.
Police canines from Westmoreland and Allegheny counties and officers from neighboring departments searched the area and located a pickup truck parked in a grassy area near the holes in the fences. The men’s identities were discovered in the truck, which was towed away.
Norfolk Southern shut down its operations in the area after the suspects were seen walking toward railroad tracks, police said in the affidavit.
The suspects were caught while looking for the truck at Route 837 and Kennedy Road, police said.
The men reportedly said they hid in the plant’s basement after hearing noises, not realizing the sounds were police officers.
Officers said they found black gloves, tools with wire cutters, flashlights and binoculars on the suspects.
Police also charged them with interfering with a railroad, possessing instruments of a crime and trespassing.
They are each free on $35,000 bond set by District Judge Ethan Ward.