Jury convicts Tamaqua man of simple assault
David Rudy Cipko, 36, of 175 Penn Street, Tamaqua, was found guilty Wednesday afternoon by a jury of several criminal charges following a two day trial in Schuylkill County court and faces a possible state prison sentence.
A jury, after almost two hours of deliberation, found him guilty of two counts of simple assault and one count of recklessly endangering another person but found him not guilty of charges of burglary, aggravated assault, criminal trespass, terroristic threats and false imprisonment.
Judge James P. Goodman set bail at $25,000 and set the date for sentencing on Monday, March 25. Cipko is currently incarcerated in the county prison and has a long criminal record. Assistant District Attorney Robert Matta, who prosecuted the case, wanted the bail revoked while Cipko pleaded for a lower bail claiming he had no one to care for his home.
The charges were brought by Tamaqua Patrolman Karl Harig, after investigating a disturbance at 336 Lincoln St. on Aug. 15, 2012. At the trial the victim, Sharon Quinn, testified she was assaulted in her home by Cipko and was struck by a broken tree limb and was hospitalized in St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital, Coaldale, and treated for two head wounds.
Before Cipko took the stand to testify, since he had no counsel to ask him questions, the judge instructed him to address the jury of his relations with the victim and what happened that day. During his testimony, Matta made objections and the court called Cipko to a sidebar conference at the judge's bench to give further instructions.
Cipko was on the witness stand for about one hour giving his side of the story which greatly differed from victim's account of what took place that evening. He claimed he struck her in self defense because she pointed a gun at him.
The victim had denied having a gun and Harig said he found no gun in the house and that Cipko never mentioned to him about a gun.
Cipko at first testified he used the broken tree limb to strike her arms to knock down the gun. Under questioning by Matta he admitted the victim suffered head injuries and claimed when he saw the blood he vomited. Cipko testified he had a relationship with the victim since August 2009 and they broke up several times and resumed dating. He claimed he was in love and had proposed marriage to her several times and she was the one who broke the relationships. Quinn had testified they had a few dates.
Cipko claimed he stayed at her home and had a key to the house. His recollection of what happened on Aug. 15 greatly differed from the victim's account.
He claimed when he returned that evening to the house she was home. Her story was when she returned after spending the day at her mother's home to get clothing and go back to her mother's home because she was afraid that he had unlocked the door and when she went to her bedroom Cipko popped out of the attic and assaulted her.
He claimed when he went to the home he went upstairs and found her in the bedroom and she pulled the gun. Under questioning he was unable to produce a key he claimed he had to the house claiming all his personal matter was taken away by the prison guards and they would not return them to him for his court appearance.
He testified he was surprised when police arrived claiming he had no idea who called them. They broke in pointing a gun at him which scared him because officers are trained to shoot to kill.