Road rage incident earns motorist state prison term
Two men were sentenced to state prison terms on Tuesday in Carbon County court after previously being convicted by county juries. Both appeared before Judge Steven R. Serfass.
Bruce Lee Hawk Jr., 39, of Ashfield, was sentenced to serve a total of 23 to 60 months in a state prison.
On May 10 a jury convicted Hawk of one count each of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and simple assault. The jury also found him not guilty of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, and driving under the influence (DUI) of a controlled substance.
Hawk was arrested by state police at Lehighton for an incident along SR248 westbound at Bowmanstown exit that occurred on May 6, 2011. Troopers said Hawk and John Flaim, of Brodheadsville, got involved in a road rage type incident at the on-ramp of 248 at Palmerton.
Police charged that Hawk followed Flaim onto 248 and "tail-gated" him until he pulled over near the Bowmanstown exit. At this point Hawk exited his pickup truck with a pipe-type object and smashed the driver's side window of Flaim's vehicle causing him to sustain injuries from the breaking glass. Hawk claimed he feared for his life due to the actions of Flaim. Hawk did not testify at the trial.
Defense Attorney Eric K. Dowdle, said it was a road rage incident that got out of hand. Dowdle also said his client was not going to speak because he plans to appeal his conviction.
Assistant District Attorney William E. McDonald, who prosecuted the case, said the incident could have turned out much worse than it did. He also asked Serfass to refuse the request of the defense to sentence Hawk in the mitigated range of sentencing guidelines stating, "There is no facts in this case to support a mitigated range sentence."
The jail term was imposed on the two assault counts. On a harassment charge, which Serfass found him guilty of after the trial, he was fined $300. Serfass also ordered Hawk to make restitution of $241.50 to Flaim, get both a drug and alcohol (D&A) and mental health evaluations and follow any recommendations for treatment, attend and complete a anger management course, and have no contact with Flaim. He was given credit for 81 days spent in jail on the charges. He is already in custody.
Bath salts case
Nicholas Mark Haspe, 31, of Coaldale, was sentenced to serve four to 24 months in a state prison on charges of resisting arrest, persistent disorderly conduct, and possession for drug paraphernalia.
He was convicted by a jury of the charges following a one day trial.
Haspe was arrested by Lansford police for an incident on April 3, 2011, in the area of Dock Street. Police were called to the scene for a report of a robbery that had just occurred, with the male suspect fleeing and being high of bath salts.
Police found Haspe in nearby woods and eventually took him into custody following a search and chase.
In addition to the prison term Serfass ordered Haspe to get both a D&A and mental health evaluations.
Haspe also was resentenced on a theft count. He was on state parole when he committed the resisting arrest incident and the state board of parole revoked his probation.
He was sentenced to a state term of six to 12 months consecutive to the resisting charge for a total term of 10 to 36 months.
Ehabb Elsayed, 25, of Gilbert, Monroe County, was sentenced on theft counts. He previously pleaded guilty to the charges.
Elsayed pleaded to the charges that all stemmed from incidents at the Walmart store in Mahoning Township. He had pleaded to two counts of theft by deception and one count of retail theft.
The retail theft occurred on Nov. 18, 2011, when he took a computer from the store. The first theft by deception case occurred on Oct. 24, 2011, when he took an item in the store and attempted to return it for cash. A similar incident occurred on Oct. 26, 2011.
Serfass placed him on probation for a total of five years and ordered total restitution to Walmart of $556.40.
He was also ordered to render a total of 250 hours of community service.
Elsayed served time in the county prison when he failed to appear for a prior sentencing proceeding.
Each defendant must also pay court costs, which average about $1,000, and pay a $50 per month supervision fee when probation for parole.