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Jim Thorpe man heading to court in road rage

Published March 20. 2014 05:00PM

A Carbon County man involved in an apparent road rage incident in Lehighton has had his charges bound over to Carbon County Court.

Ryan R. Saunders II, 18, of Jim Thorpe, was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing Wednesday before District Judge Edward Lewis of Jim Thorpe.

Instead, Saunders, a Jim Thorpe football player, waived his right to the hearing, and will appear May 29 for a pretrial status conference in the district attorney's office at the courthouse in Jim Thorpe.

Kirt D. Adams, 57, of Nesquehoning, the other adult involved in the incident, was scheduled to have a hearing before Lewis on March 26.

However, Adams' case will be withdrawn.

The charges against both Saunders and Adams originated at about 3:27 p.m. on Dec. 1. Arresting officer Matthew Arner states he was dispatched to a fight in progress at that time in the area of 327 N. Second St.

According to the affidavit, conflicting statements were given to Arner regarding what happened, but the situation started at the intersection of Broadway and Susquehanna streets in Jim Thorpe. Sanders told police he and another person in the vehicle being driven by Saunders were involved in an altercation in Jim Thorpe with Adams.

Adams had told police that he was behind the Saunders vehicle in Jim Thorpe and at the intersection, Saunders didn't proceed through a traffic light when it turned green so he honked his horn, according to the affidavit. Adams was behind the Saunders vehicle on Route 209 to Lehighton.

He followed Saunders to Second Street and when Saunders pulled into a parking spot, Adams pulled into a parking space across the street from them, records say. A fight broke out and Adams sustained serious injuries by Saunders and his passenger, a minor, according to the police affidavit.

Saunders has been charged with aggravated assault, conspiracy-aggravated assault, simple assault, unsworn falsification to authorities, and corruption of minors since he had a minor passenger at the time of the incident.

Adams has been charged with possession of a prohibited offensive weapon, simple assault and disorderly conduct.

Adams was charged in a standoff with police last June. 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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