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Lansford man who assaulted police gets state prison time

Published May 23. 2019 01:38PM

A Lansford man who admitted assaulting a police officer was sentenced on Tuesday afternoon in Carbon County court to a state prison term.

Herman Thomas, 49, was sentenced by President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II to serve 30 to 60 months in a state correctional institution on a charge of aggravated assault.

On a charge of resisting arrest, he was sentenced to serve 10 to 24 months in a state prison, concurrent with the first count.

At the time of his arrest he was considered homeless.

In a plea agreement, a charge of simple assault was dropped.

During the incident, which occurred on Nov. 30, 2018, officer Anthony Campanell was injured. He was taken to St. Luke’s Miners Campus in Coaldale for treatment.

Police said Thomas was evaluated at the emergency room of the hospital, after which he was charged.

Police said Campanell was initially called to investigate an incident where two men attempted to open and enter a vehicle at Bertsch and Cortright streets. A man told them his daughter was an occupant of the vehicle at the time.

After obtaining descriptions of the two men, Campanell located Herman and David Penberth, who is known to police, inside Rite Aid.

Upon confronting them, police said, Thomas told the officer his name was James Taylor. When the officer learned there was no record of a James Taylor, Thomas provided his proper name.

Police said Campanell tried to grab Thomas’ arm, and the man pulled away and fought with the officer, punching him in the face, head and neck several times.

Thomas refused to follow verbal commands to stop and the use of a stun gun was only partially effective, police said. The scuffle then moved across the parking lot from the entrance of the store, about 20 yards away.

Police said Thomas was finally subdued with the assistance of bystanders.

At a preliminary hearing held in the matter, Thomas apologized to Campanell.

Nanovic also ordered Thomas to make restitution of $2,444.75, get both drug and alcohol and mental health evaluations, supply a DNA sample and pay court costs of about $1,000.

When initially charged Thomas was incarcerated in the county prison, but later had his bail reduced and was eventually released. He was given credit for time spent in jail before posting bail.

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