Nearby: Man Helps Himself to Milk, Cookies After Sleeping in Wrong House

Police say Christopher Dahlstrom surprised an elderly woman getting ready for church after he spent the night in her family's home.

A Seven Fields man charged with giving an unwelcome surprise to an elderly Cranberry Township woman just before Christmas is heading to the Butler County Court of Common Pleas.

Christopher Dahlstrom, 20, of Bristol Drive, will be formally arraigned March 19 after waiving a preliminary hearing before District Judge David Kovach in Cranberry last week.

According to the criminal complaint filed by Cranberry police, an 86-year-old woman was getting ready for church early Dec. 23 when Dahlstrom opened the door of her first-floor bedroom.

The woman screamed and her daughter and son-in-law, who own the Toftree Drive home, rushed to the bedroom to find out what was wrong, the complaint said.

The homeowner, who dialed 911 while confronting Dahlstrom, told police Dahlstrom began to argue with him that he actually was in the house next door to the homeowner.

The homeowner added he did not know Dahlstrom, who police said appeared intoxicated, and that Dahlstrom did not have permission to be in the home, the complaint said.

The complaint said Dahlstrom later told police he had spent the night in the house—and appeared to have made himself comfortable there.

The homeowner told police he found cookies and a glass with a small amount of milk left on the kitchen counter the morning of Dec. 23. The milk and cookies were not there the night before, the complaint said.

When police checked the outside of the home, they observed a set of shoeprints in the snow leading from a wine bottle and beer bottle in front of the home’s garage to a rear basement patio door. Dahlstrom's jacket also was found on the couch in the family room, the complaint said.

Police said it did not appear any forced entry was made into the home. The homeowner said the patio door might have been unlocked, the complaint said.

Dahlstrom, who police said smelled strongly of alcohol, was placed in handcuffs without incident once officers arrived at the home. Cranberry EMS also was called to the home because the elderly woman believed she was having a heart attack, the complaint said.

When checking Dahlstrom’s pockets, police found six amphetamine capsules, the complaint said. 

Dahlstrom is charged with defiant trespass, possession of a controlled substance, possessing a small amount of marijuana and public drunkenness in the incident. A burglary charge was withdrawn.


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James Dale Barrington February 15, 2013 at 02:05 PM
In 'Mayberry' days the police/sheriff deputy would have told Dahlstrom to clean up his mess and go home; no harm, no fault... An apology is in order and maybe paying the bill for the EMS's trip to the home, but nothing else. -- How many stupid things have we done when someone who had our best interests in mind let it slide?? He's 20 years old who is wrapped up in problems of his own with a story a lot like ours at his age. Help him out of the ditch he fell into, and send him own his way..
Susan M. February 15, 2013 at 04:33 PM
I agree James! Poor soul was just lost. A little understanding and compassion can go a long way. Now he's faced with even more troubles and bills.


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