All charges were dismissed Tuesday against a longtime Uniontown businessman who police had alleged took unlawful possession of a car and disposed of it earlier this year.

State police Trooper Timothy S. Karpiak said Louis Tito “Joby” Cantalamessa of 56 Stockton Ave. was charged in June before Magisterial District Judge Michael M. Metros with felony counts of theft by unlawful taking or disposition and fraudulent removal of vehicle from a garage and a single summary count of illegal transfer of a vehicle to a salvage dealer.

Cantalamessa owns and operates Joby’s Gulf, a service station and towing company on Beeson Avenue in Uniontown.

Following testimony by the alleged victim in the case as well as Karpiak, two employees of Joby’s Gulf and Cantalamessa, Metros dismissed all charges.

Brittnie Victor of Connellsville testified that her boyfriend had wrecked her car on Route 21 in Masontown in April and he had called Victor’s grandfather, Holbert Victor, who is employed by Cantalamessa, to haul the vehicle from the crash.

Both Brittnie and Holbert Victor testified that one of Cantalamessa’s tow trucks was used to haul the vehicle from the scene to Joby’s Gulf, where the 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse was then placed in storage.

Brittnie Victor testified that when her mother arrived at the business to retrieve her car a week later, Cantalamessa had already sold the vehicle to a scrap yard without permission.

Karpiak testified that Cantalamessa had the vehicle towed to a recycling center in Greene County and destroyed prior to Victor’s arrival and was paid $300 for the car.

Holbert Victor, who told the court that he has worked for Cantalamessa for more than 30 years, testified that in speaking with Brittnie Victor and her boyfriend, they had instructed him to use the totaled car to cover the cost of the towing and storage as they were unable to afford the bill.

Cantalamessa testified that the actual bill would have been about $700, but that he was willing to take a loss on the transaction as a gesture of kindness to the family of one of his employees.

Instead, Cantalamessa testified that the family claimed after the vehicle was destroyed that they had not granted permission for him to take control of the car and reported the incident to the police.

He testified that when Karpaik interviewed him in May about the incident, the trooper was intimidating and did not want to hear his side of the incident.

He also told the court that the charges have unjustly tarnished his reputation in the community and also resulted in the state police immediately dropping his business for police-related towing calls.

Uniontown attorney Samuel J. Davis, who represented Cantalamessa, said that the three counts filed against his client were baseless.

“This prosecution is not well founded,” Davis said in closing.

“This does not take into consideration any intent on the part of my clien,” Davis said.

Loud applause erupted from the dozens who packed the standing-room-only courtroom when Metros dismissed the charges.

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