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Man pleads guilty to taking girlfriend from Philhaven at gunpoint

Written by Les Stewart/Lebanon Daily News | Mar 22, 2017 9:14 AM
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Photo by Pennsylvania State Police

Alicia Buzzard, 21, and Elliot Ravert, 18.

Elliott Ravert was charged with taking Alicia Buzzard from Philhaven after confronting two nurses while holding a gun and demanding to see her

(Lebanon) -- A 19-year-old Lancaster County man pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges that he used a gun to gain release of his girlfriend from Philhaven in West Cornwall Township last summer.

Elliott Ravert, of Narvon, pleaded guilty to charges of burglary, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment and criminal coercion.

Two counts of robbery will be dismissed and he will be sentenced to 11.5 to 23 months in Lebanon County prison, according to terms of plea agreement. He will be given credit for time he has already served.

Police said he took a handgun to Philhaven on Aug. 9 last year to take his girlfriend, Alicia Buzzard, then 21, of Heidelberg Township, from the facility. Ravert pulled the gun on two nurses so he could free Buzzard from the behavioral health care facility in West Cornwall Township, where she had been the previous two weeks. There were no injuries.

Ravert and Buzzard were taken into custody Aug. 12 when they were arrested for shoplifting at a Wal-Mart in Myrtle Beach, S.C..

The incident at Philhaven began when Ravert entered the facility at 283 S. Butler Road and spoke with a receptionist, asking to speak with a nurse about Buzzard. At that point, Ravert did not display the gun, police said a day after the incident.

Ravert was directed upstairs to the secured, adult unit where Buzzard had been staying for about the past 10 days. When he arrived there, he demanded to know why Buzzard was in lockdown, but was told by two nurses that they could not speak to him about her situation, according to the criminal complaint.

He pulled out a handgun, demanded access to the locked unit, where she was a patient, and told the two nursing staff that if they did not let him in, he would shoot them, police said.

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Alicia Buzzard, 21, was last seen at Philhaven, a mental health facility in West Cornwall Township, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday when Elliot Ravert, 18, entered Philhaven armed with a handgun and removed her, according to police. (Photo: Jeremy Long, Lebanon Daily News)

The staff complied, allowing Ravert into the unit, where he located Buzzard. The pair left in Ravert's pickup truck after he grabbed one of the nurse's two-way radios, police said.

Cornwall Police Chief Bruce Harris said the day after the incident that he was not aware of Ravert having any prior criminal history, and it was not clear what type of handgun he used or how he obtained it.

Tiffany Buzzard, Alicia's sister, told Lancasteronline that her younger sister had been dating Ravert for several months before her mother and step-father, with whom she lives in Heidelberg Township, put an end to the relationship when they started to have sex.

Jacqueline Shay, Buzzard's mother, told the website that her daughter has the maturity of a 12-year-old and met Ravert about three months ago when both attended the IU-13 Community School West in Manheim.

Shay told Lancasteronline that her daughter is bipolar and suffers from several other mental disorders. She said she directed Philhaven not to allow Ravert to see or speak with her daughter after learning he had been visiting her.

This story is part of a partnership between WITF and the Lebanon Daily News.

Published in Lebanon, News

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