According to The Mercury, a Norristown man who was charged with burglarizing a Phoenixville home in April returned to the scene of the alleged crime last week and, according to police, assaulted a female resident.
Forty eight-year-old Gabriel John Cocco is alleged to have demanded the victim drop the burglary charges, refused to leave her property when asked, and grabbed the woman while she was trying to get into her car. He was arrested on July 20 and charged with retaliating against a witness, false imprisonment, simple assault and harassment
According to court documents, Cocco called the woman — who has a restraining order against him stemming from the alleged burglary — on the evening of July 17 and asked if he could stop by. She said yes.
The woman told police that when he arrived at her residence the conversation was casual at first before taking a contentious turn. The woman said Cocco demanded she drop the burglary charge and write a letter to the court asking for the restraining order to be lifted.
The woman reportedly asked Cocco to leave and he refused at first, but ultimately left after she said a friend was coming to pick her up. Thirty minutes later Cocco reportedly reappeared.
The woman told police he stood between her and her car and when she tried to enter the vehicle he grabbed her. Though she said she was able to shake free after a struggle and get into the vehicle, Cocco didn’t stop. He allegedly tried to pull her out of an open window and, when that failed, went to the passenger side to attempt to grab her. According to her statement to Phoenixville Police, he left only when she began "making noise."
After his July 20 arrest, Cocco was taken to Chester County Prison. He was there for three days until he posted a $25,000 cash bail on July 23 and was released. He faces a preliminary hearing on Aug. 2.