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JT football star faces charges after road rage

  • Ryan R. Saunders II
    Ryan R. Saunders II
Published January 22. 2014 05:00PM

An apparent road rage incident has led to felony charges being filed against an outstanding Jim Thorpe High School football player.

Ryan R. Saunders II, 18, of Behrens Road, Penn Forest Township, faces charges of aggravated assault and conspiracy - aggravated assault, both felonies. He also faces misdemeanor charges of simple assault, unsworn falsification to authorities, and corruption of minors, the latter charge being because there was a minor in the vehicle with him at the time of the incident.

Saunders had been named the football "Player of the Year" for the 2013 season by the TIMES NEWS.

He was also named to the AAA Pennsylvania All State Team.

He was arrested by Lehighton Police Officer Matthew Arner and arraigned on the charges before District Judge Edward M. Lewis. He was freed on $40,000 unsecured bail.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 29 before Lewis.

The charges stem from an incident which happened after 3 p.m. on Dec. 18.

According to the affidavit, Arner was dispatched to a fight in the 300 block of North Second Street in Lehighton on Dec. 18. Arner said at the scene were three males and two females. One of the males was "bleeding extensively from the facial area."

The person bleeding, identified as Kirt Adams, of Lehighton, was transported to Lehigh Valley Hospital Trauma Center and will require facial reconstruction surgery due to his injuries, according to the affidavit.

He sustained right orbital, max sinus, and nasal fractures. He also had a human bite to his left thumb.

One of the females was identified as Tracy Mikolawsky, who told police she was the stepmother of Saunders. Mikolawsky contacted the TIMES NEWS to say she is actually Saunders' mother.

Arner's investigation led to allegations that the fight occurred because of a road rage incident.

The affidavit alleges that on Dec. 18, Saunders was driving a vehicle stopped at a traffic light at Broadway and Susquehanna Streets in Jim Thorpe. Adams, 57, who was driving the vehicle behind them, reportedly honked his horn after the light changed.

There is a conflict in what was told to police after that. Saunders told police Adams tried to "run our car into the mountain," but Adams said Saunders drove slow and was speeding up when he tried to pass.

Adams said he was pushed to the ground and felt someone hitting him. He told police he heard on the of the males yell, "You (expletive) up and now you are done. You are finished."

Adams also told police he was kicked in the face.

One of the women at the scene was a resident of the area who witnessed the attack.

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