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Carbon jury returns split verdict in assault case

Published May 11. 2012 05:02PM

A Carbon County jury returned a split verdict in an assault case on Thursday.

The jury panel found Bruce Lee Hawk Jr., 39, of Ashfield, guilty of one count each of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and simple assault but not guilty of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, and driving under the influence (DUI) of a controlled substance. The trial began Wednesday before Judge Steven R. Serfass. The jury deliberated for about an hour and a half before reaching its decision.

Hawk was charged following an incident that occurred on May 6, 2011, along SR248 westbound at the Bowmanstown exit.

State police at Lehighton said Hawk and John Flaim, of Brodheadsville, got involved in a road rage type incident at the on-ramp to 248 from Palmerton.

Police charged that Hawk followed Flaim onto 248 westbound and "tail-gated" him until he pulled over near the Bowmanstown exit.

Troopers said Hawk exited his pickup truck with a pipe-type object and smashed the driver's side window of Flaim's car causing him to sustain injuries from the breaking glass.

Hawk then left the scene but was later stopped by East Penn Township police, who returned him to the scene where Flaim identified him as his assailant.

Hawk had claimed he feared for his life due to the actions of Flaim. Hawk did not testify at the trial.

Serfass deferred sentencing to a later date.

The case was prosecuted by First Assistant District Attorney William E. McDonald while Hawk was represented by Attorney Eric K. Dowdle.

Summary verdicts

Keith Norbin Mcinaw, 51, of Pocono Pines, who was found not guilty on Tuesday by a jury of fleeing and eluding police and DUI was found guilty by the presiding judge, Joseph J. Matika, of several motor vehicle code violations and not guilty of others that were filed in connection with the case.

Mcinaw was arrested following an incident that occurred on Oct. 17, 2010, along Trachsville Hill Road in Towamensing Township. The incident began on Spruce Hollow Road where state police at Lehighton attempted to stop Mcinaw, operating a motorcycle, and another cyclist, Scott Kelly, of Effort. A short pursuit ensued with Kelly stopping on Trachsville Hill Road. Mcinaw did not stop but was involved in a crash several hundred yards further down the road.

At the trial Mcinaw claimed he didn't know he was being followed by the trooper. He had a blood test taken which revealed a .05BAC. Under state law a person is considered under the influence with a .08 or higher.

At the time of the arrest troopers charged Mcinaw with 19 summary motor vehicle code violations. Following the verdict the Commonwealth dismissed 11 of the summary counts while he was found guilty by the court of careless driving, driving on roadways laned for traffic, reckless driving, driving a vehicle at a safe speed, protective headgear for motorcycles, and not guilty of required financial responsibility, use of improper class of license, and vehicle registration suspended.

Sentencing on the summary offenses he was found guilty of is scheduled for May 22 at 9 a.m. before Matika.

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