Robert A. Lasso grew up in an immaculate Cape Cod on Chestnut Street in Freemansburg, where his parents taught him to respect others, love family and appreciate the coziness of living in small-town America.
He went to investigate a disturbance, which led him to 440 New St., less than two blocks from where he grew up. At a cluttered home that reeks of dog feces, Officer Lasso encountered George Hitcho Jr., who court records show trashed a school as a youth and grew into a man with a petty rap sheet and explosive temper he took out on his wife until she left him.
Hitcho, 46, is charged with killing Lasso with a shotgun blast to the head while Lasso tried to fend off two of Hitcho's 10 dogs with a stun gun under orders from police Chief George Bruneio, who had arrived as Lasso's backup.
This is the face of a killer!
This was a senseless killing. A disturbance call, that should have ended routinely, but ended in the tragic killing of a Police Officer. Hitcho was presumably protecting two of his dogs that were about to attck Officer Lasso. Lasso had pulled out a stun gun to protect himself from the dogs when he was shot and killed with a shotgun, fired by Hitcho.
Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said he will seek a first-degree murder conviction and the death penalty for Hitcho, who is in Northampton County Prison without bail on a homicide charge.
"Killing a law enforcement officer is an aggravating factor" that allows prosecutors to pursue capital punishment, Morganelli said Friday.
Unfortunately, appeals will take forever and Pennsyvania hasn't executed anyone in quite some time.
Officer Lasso leaves a wife and two young children, along with other family members. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family.