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Road rage with a baby on board

Published January 16. 2013 05:03PM

A Lansford man faces 11 charges from an apparent road rage incident in which a head-on collision with injures resulted (although his vehicle wasn't physically involved in the accident), and while his 22-month-old son was in his vehicle.

Joseph Mongi, 28, was charged by Mahoning Township police as a result of an incident which occurred on Oct. 23 at 8:36 p.m. along Mill Road (SR902).

Mongi has been charged with six counts of recklessly endangering another person, simple assault, disorderly conduct, which are all misdemeanors; and obstructing highways or other public passages, harassment, and duty to give information and render aid, all summary offenses.

The charges were filed with District Judge Edward Lewis of Jim Thorpe. A hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 6.

According to the affidavit filed by officer Christopher Ritter of the Mahoning Township Police Department, Mongi allegedly was tailgating a female driver "to the degree that she became unsettled."

That driver, Beth Ann Newton, told police she pulled over and let Mongi pass her.

The affidavit reads, "She then pulled out behind the pick-up, and as the vehicles traveled around the right-hand curve, the pick-up driver 'slammed on his brakes' and stopped in the travel lane. The pick-up driver, Mongi, got out of his truck and approached her vehicle, while yelling at her to 'get the ... out of the car!,' and he kicked her driver's door."

Police say Newton became fearful for her safety and in an attempt to escape, she began to pull around the pick-up. This resulted in a collision with a vehicle approaching from the other direction, operated by Nicole Frendt. There were three passengers in the Frendt vehicle and all suffered injuries.

According to police, Jocelyn Cain suffered a fractured left wrist, Kyle Hummel had injuries to both knees, and Matthew Thornton sustained a bloody nose.

When police arrived at the scene of the accident, Mongi was sitting on a guiderail, outside his vehicle, according to police. The youngster was still strapped in his child seat.

Mongi's vehicle had a roof-mounted blue light bar with the lights flashing, police said.

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