A Middleport man's petition to dismiss criminal charges brought against him after a "bush party" incident last June in Kaska, Blythe Township, were denied by Judge John E. Domalakes at a hearing held in the Schuylkill County court.
George Klipola, 38, of 9 Kaska St., Blythe Township, will face charges brought by Trooper Brent D. Spleen, including two counts of aggravated assault and recklessly endangering Cody Carpency and Gavin D. Heim; one count of simple assault with a deadly weapon on David Hoffman; and one count of driving while his operating privileges were suspended.
Klipola's petition, filed by attorney James G. Conville, alleged the Commonwealth failed to present sufficient evidence that he caused bodily injuries to any of the victims, or that he acted recklessly. The court also heard arguments from counsel for Klipola and the Commonwealth.
The court reviewed the testimony of several witnesses which were presented at a preliminary hearing before a district judge. Their testimony involved being at "bush party" at the Strawberry Field when a fight broke out between Klipola and Brent Herb at around 4 a.m. on June 18, 2011. Klipola went to his truck and drove it into a group of people.
Klipola claimed someone threw a beer can at his truck which led to the altercation and that after the fight, he got into his truck and was attempting to get away from the mob of people who had been drinking. He claimed his windshield was smashed and his visibility was obscured.
In his opinion, Domalakes wrote: "The testimony of the Commonwealth witnesses read in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth, in light which the court is required to read such evidence, does establish Klipola acted recklessly at the time he ran into the victims in his truck. It demonstrates that he consciously disregarded a substantial and unjustifiable risk of death or serious bodily injury in driving his truck directly at the alleged victims, especially when he had an alternate avenue of exit.
"The evidence could establish he knew that there were many people in that area where he drove his vehicle and that he was angry at some of them at the time. The evidence also sufficiently demonstrates that he acted knowingly. He was aware that such conduct was practically certain to cause injury. It was not the type of conduct that a reasonable man would do under the circumstances and was a gross deviation from the reasonable man standard."