Man will face trial over allegations he tackled Lansford police officer
A Lansford man who allegedly attacked a borough police officer with a "football tackle" and wrestled with him on the ground must answer the charges in Carbon County Court.
The defendant, Raymond Rolon, 20, of Lansford, had a hearing yesterday before District Judge Casimir Kosciolek.
The charges, which are aggravated assault, resisting arrest, persistent disorderly conduct, and possession of a controlled substance, were forwarded to Carbon County Court.
One other charge, public drunkenness, was dismissed because there was no testimony given during the hearing to support it.
Kosciolek agreed to reduce the bail of Rolon from 10 percent of $30,000 to $1,500 straight.
The only testimony in the case was by officer Joshua Tom of the Lansford Police Department, who was the victim.
The charges stem from an incident on July 14 at 1:31 a.m. in the vicinity of 214 East Kline Avenue. Tom was not injured during the alleged assault.
The police officer indicated there were two other unidentified individuals who he was pursuing on foot when Rolon tackled him. He said Rolon made the comment that "he'll take the hit for this. No problem. He'll do six months in county (prison)."
Tom said that he had begun his shift at 6 p.m. and was on foot patrol on East Kline Avenue. He said he observed some individuals sitting on a porch at an abandoned house. Tom testified that he summoned back-up from another police officer via texting on his cellular phone.
Tom said he waited for the additional officer, but when he didn't hear anything, he peeked from behind a parked car. At that time, he heard someone yell "cops," he said. The individuals then ran.
He said they ran up an alley toward Abbott Street. Tom said he came around a corner, saw two males standing in a yard, and yelled "police."
Tom said he began chasing them when the defendant tackled him, striking him on the right side.
The policeman told Kosciolek, "I was on the bottom, fearing for my safety, so I did everything I could to get off the bottom," adding he looked up and saw the other two individuals returning. Then, he said, he heard one of them indicate they saw the back-up officer arrive and ran away.
After Rolon was placed in custody, he was patted down and there was allegedly a packet of cocaine found on him.
The public defender, Attorney Gregory Mousseau, indicated he is pursuing a defense that it was dark and the defendant might not have known Tom was a police officer when making the tackle. Attorney Mousseau asked that the aggravated assault count be dismissed because of this.
The prosecutor for the District Attorney's office, Jim Lavelle, countered that Tom testified he heard one of the individuals in the group yell "cops" and that Tom had uttered the words "stop, police" while making the pursuit.
Kosciolek only agreed to dropping the public drunkenness charge.