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Carbon man gets state jail time for pointing gun at cop

Published December 02. 2009 05:00PM

A Carbon County man was sentenced to a state prison term on Monday in Northampton County court after pleading guilty to aggravated assault, as a felony, for an incident in which he pointed a loaded handgun at a police officer.

Stephen Garger, 35, of Bowmanstown, was sentenced to serve two to four years in prison by Judge Stephen Baratta.

Garger was arrested on March 15 after he was stopped by Det. Robert Hawk of the Lehigh Township police, for suspected drunk driving. According to police arrest reports, as Hawk approached the car Garger exited his vehicle and pulled a .35-caliber revolver from behind his back, cocked it, and pointed it at the officer.

Hawk retreated behind his police cruiser and pulled his weapon. After a short standoff Garger threw the gun to the roadway and was taken into custody.

A report indicated that Garger suffers from mental health issues since he was in his 20s. It was also believed that Garger was planning to rob a convenience store in the area.

There was also an indication that Garger wanted to confront police after the robbery in the hopes of being shot by officers in what prosecutors called "suicide by cop."

After serving his prison term Garger will also serve three years of probation.

More serious charges such as attempted homicide were dropped in a plea bargain which was approved by Hawk.

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