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Man accused in assault of Lansford officer expected to plead guilty

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    Lansford Police officer Anthony Campanell leads Herman Thomas out of the courtroom. Thomas allegedly assaulted Campanell during an arrest on Nov. 31. CHRIS REBER/TIMES NEWS

Published February 01. 2019 01:26PM

A man accused of assaulting a Lansford Police officer is expected to plead guilty to one count of aggravated assault.

Herman Thomas, 49, apologized to the police officer during a court appearance on Wednesday and signed a document stating he plans to plead guilty to charges of aggravated assault and resisting arrest.

In exchange, prosecutors won’t pursue charges of simple assault and false identification to a police officer.

He remains locked up on $100,000 straight cash bail.

According to court documents, Thomas continued attacking the officer even after the officer used his stun gun on him, and bystanders had to help subdue him.

Prosecutors said they would not agree to a plea deal unless Thomas pleaded to the felony aggravated assault charge, the most serious charge he was facing.

Thomas’ girlfriend said outside the courtroom that the alleged assault doesn’t reflect his character.

“He’s a lover, not a fighter. The way they portrayed him was like a thug from the city. He’s not,” she said.

Conner said Thomas suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after being shot three times and stabbed three times. He has a scar on the side of his head which she said was from one of the gunshot wounds.

On Nov. 30, the officer, identified as Anthony Campanell, was attempting to arrest Thomas on a warrant outside the Rite Aid store on West Bertsch Street. When he grabbed Thomas’ arm, Thomas allegedly started punching him repeatedly in the head and neck.

The officer had been questioning Thomas and another man about an incident that occurred earlier that night. A man flagged down the officer and said two men opened the door of the vehicle his daughter was riding in and attempted to get in.

Campanell learned that the two men were at the Rite Aid store. Thomas initially identified himself as “James Taylor” according to police.

He only identified himself as Herman Thomas after the officer said he would be charged for providing a false name.

A Carbon County dispatcher informed the officer via radio that there was a warrant out for Thomas’ arrest. When the officer attempted to arrest Thomas, he allegedly resisted violently.

Thomas’ sentencing has been set for Feb. 28.

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