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Driver charged in road rage incident

  • Adams in Carbon Prison file photo
    Adams in Carbon Prison file photo
Published January 27. 2014 05:00PM

A new twist in the matter of a fight involving a Jim Thorpe football star emerged Friday when police filed assault, stalking, and harassment charges against the man the athlete is accused of beating.

Kirt D. Adams, 57, of Nesquehoning, who police said had been attacked by Ryan R. Saunders II, 18, of Penn Forest Township, and another teenager on Dec. 18, was charged after authorities determined that Adams had followed Saunders to a Lehighton home following a road rage incident that had begun four miles north in Jim Thorpe.

Adams was released on $20,000 unsecured bail, meaning he did not have to post money or property.

Saunders has been charged with aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy, simple assault, lying to police, and corruption of minors.

Details of the charges against Adams, of Nesquehoning who had been jailed in June after a standoff with police at his home were included in an affidavit of probable cause filed Jan. 20 by Lehighton patrolman Matthew Arner with District Judge Edward Lewis of Jim Thorpe.

According to that court document, Saunders told police that Adams followed him and his passenger to Saunders' home

The affidavit detailing the reasons for the charges against Saunders is the same as the one filed on Adams.

Saunders' affidavit states that Arner was called to the scene of a fight at 327 N. Second St. at about 3 p.m. Dec. 18. He and fellow officers Robert DeFuso and Bruce Broyles arrived to see three males, one with a bloody face, and two females standing in the street.

Two of the males were Saunders, and a 16-year-old boy identified only as "DS." One of the females stood with them, according to the affidavit. She was Tracy Mikolawsky, whom, according to police, identified herself as Saunders' and DS's stepmother. Mikolawsky has told the TIMES NEWS she is Saunders' mother, not his stepmother.

How it started

Saunders told police he and DS were attacked by the other male, later identified as Adams. Saunders told police there had been an altercation at Broadway and Susquehanna Street in Jim Thorpe. He said he and DS were in one car and the man identified as Adams was behind them in another car.

Saunders told police that Adams "tried to run our car into the mountain" as both cars traveled on Mansion House Hill (Route 209 in Mahoning Township). The section of Route 209 that runs through Jim Thorpe is called Susquehanna Street.

According to the affidavit, Saunders later told police that Adams followed them to the Lehighton home. Saunders said Adams parked his car behind theirs, would not let them leave, and attacked them.

Saunders told police he fought back against Adams, defending himself and DS, until police could arrive. Police said DS told them Adams had tried to strangle him, so he defended himself. DS refused medical treatment at the scene. There were no marks on his neck or face, and his sneaker had blood on it.

Arner noted that Adams' car was parked in a space across the street from Saunders' car.

Arner wrote that Adams said he had been traveling to a meeting in Lehighton, and was at the Jim Thorpe intersection when the car ahead of him failed to move through the crossroad. Adams said he honked his horn, and that the passenger in the car responded with a lewd hand gesture.

Adams told Arner there were two young men in the car, which drove very slowly on Susquehanna Street toward the Mansion House Hill. Adams said he tried to pass the car in the passing lane, but when he did, the driver would speed up. Adams said he pulled into the parking lot to try to talk to the driver of the other car, but the young men both made lewd hand gestures at him.

Incident continues

Adams said he thought the incident was over, and that he continued to drive toward Lehighton. He said he saw the car turn onto a side street, then onto North Second Street.

Adams told Arner that that was the same route he took to get to his meeting. He said the young men pulled their car into a parking spot, got out and waved at him to stop.

Adams said he pulled into a spot across from their car. He said the male identified as DS approached him and said, "What is your (expletive) problem?"

Adams replied, "You guys are driving like animals."

Adams said he saw DS pull back his right hand to hit him, so he pushed DS. Then, Adams said, he was pushed to the ground. He closed his eyes and felt someone hitting him. He said he heard one of the young men yell, "You (expletive) up and now you're done. You are finished!"

Adams said he recalled being kicked in the face, and believed he was going to die, and then blacked out. He told Arner he did not block the young men's car.

Adams was taken to the hospital, where he was treated for eye socket, cheek and nose fractures, and for a human bite on his left thumb. He'll need reconstructive surgery for the face injuries.

Witness account

Arner also spoke with the other female at the scene, identified as Dawn Kilgore. She said she saw three males fighting in the middle of the street, and that an older man was surrounded by two younger ones. She said she saw them pushing each other, then saw the older man fall. He was on his knees with his arms covering his head, in a defensive position. She said she saw the two younger males kick the older one in the chest, neck and face several times.

Kilgore identified Saunders as one of the young men.

Adams' stand off with police happened on June 3. Earlier that day, a former co-worker had alerted police that Adams had sent a text message threatening suicide.

When police arrived at his apartment, Adams answered the door and began screaming at police to leave him alone. He held his left hand behind his back as if he was holding something.

He continued to be irate and unruly, and police were told he had a .45 caliber handgun. More police were called in, and Carbon County Emergency Management Coordinator Mark Nalesnik evacuated nearby homes and cordoned off the area.

Adams eventually surrendered. police found the loaded gun in his bedroom, and a Remington sawed-off shotgun and another loaded handgun in his two vehicles. They charged Adams with possession of a prohibited offensive weapon, simple assault and disorderly conduct. He was jailed under $100,000 bail.

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