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Man who pointed bow and arrow at neighbor given probation term

Published August 06. 2018 12:43PM

A Carbon County man who previously admitted pointing a bow and arrow at a neighbor was placed on a long probation term Thursday afternoon in the county court.

Jacob James Harris, 26, of Lehighton, previously pleaded guilty to one count of terroristic threats but mentally ill. His plea came following a hearing before President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II. During that hearing testimony and medical reports were given by a psychiatrist plus other psychological analysis.

Nanovic noted that the reports indicated that Harris was receiving treatment for mental health issues but had stopped taking his medication for at least five days before the incident.

State police at Lehighton said Harris went to a residence on Forest Street, Towamensing Township, on Aug. 17, 2017, at 3:50 p.m. with a bow and razor-tipped arrows. He then threatened to shoot the animals on the victim’s property and also shoot the victim.

Troopers said Harris also damaged the victim’s 2013 Ford F150 pickup and Honda utility vehicle.

Harris’ parents testified that they knew he was not taking his medications and his demeanor was changing and he was becoming difficult. They said they called a local agency for help but got none. They later called an out-of-county agency for help, after the incident occurred. Since then they said they have received counseling on how to handle their son and his mental health issues.

Harris told the court, “I’m sorry. I apologize to my neighbor. I honestly would not recognize him if I saw him on the street.” Testimony indicated that Harris was “hearing voices and saw bugs and was trying to kill them” during the period he was off his medication.

Nanovic said it was a very serious situation, noting the police report indicated that Harris pointed the bow and arrow directly at the victim. Nanovic said the victim was a retired corrections officer and showed great restraint in the situation.

Nanovic placed him on probation for 36 months and ordered he get both drug and alcohol and mental health evaluations, zero tolerance for the use of any nonprescription medication, continue his current counseling, have no contact with the victim or enter his property, make total restitution for damages of $7,851.21, have no weapons of any kind, pay court costs of about $1,000 and pay a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation.

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