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Man who pointed gun at landscaping workers given short prison term

Published February 15. 2019 12:01PM

A Kunkletown area man, who previously admitted pointing a handgun at three workers for a landscaping company, was sentenced to a short prison term on Thursday afternoon in Carbon County court.

President Judge Roger N. Nanovic sentenced Daniel Haldaman, 70, to serve one to one day less 24 months in the county prison on three counts of recklessly endangering another person. In exchange for the plea the district attorney’s office dropped charges of robbery — threat of immediate serious injury, terroristic threats, simple assault and harassment.

Haldaman was charged by state police at Fern Ridge for an incident on Oct. 23, 2017, at his home in Penn Forest Township. Workers for Pappas Landscaping were at the property to remove their equipment after Haldaman had notified the firm he did not wish to have any work done. He also requested the return of his deposit that he made in hiring the firm.

The state police report indicates that one of the employees of the firm gave Haldaman a check from the company. Haldaman left his residence and went to a bank, where he was told the check would not clear.

He then returned and confronted the man who gave the check, complaining that the check wouldn’t clear and that he wanted his money. The confrontation occurred at a pull-off along Little Gap Road near the Carbon/Monroe line in Towamensing Township.

After confronting the employee, Haldaman then went to his vehicle and secured a pistol and went back to the employee and told him he would shoot him if he didn’t get his money. The report also stated the victims said Haldaman threatened to kill them.

Defense Attorney Brian Collins told the court Haldaman had been on painkillers for an extended period of time and before the incident was being taken off the medication. He said on the day of the incident Haldaman had completed a program which took him off the medications.

Haldaman said he didn’t remember pointing the gun at the three victims or the details of the incident. He claimed as he was returning from the bank after finding out the check would not clear, he “snapped.” He said he remembered going into his garage but from that point on his memory was not clear. Troopers had claimed he got the gun from the garage area.

Collins submitted to the court a psychological evaluation that indicated the pain medication, and Haldaman’s not using it the day of the incident, could have contributed to his behavior.

There was a discussion between Collins, Nanovic and Assistant District Attorney Robert S. Frycklund, concerning invoking the deadly weapon enhancement provision in the law since a weapon was used in the incident. Nanovic asked if the gun was loaded at the time of the incident. He said if it was, then the defendant faces a minimum sentence of between six and seven months in prison. Without the enhancement, the sentencing range is probation to one month.

After much discussion in which no one could state if the gun was, in fact, loaded, Frycklund said he would agree that the prosecution was not seeking the enhancement. He noted, however, he was not the ADA who negotiated the plea agreement.

Nanovic said since the commonwealth was not “pushing” for the weapon enhancement, “I will not consider it.”

In addition to the prison term, Nanovic ordered Haldaman to get both drug and alcohol and mental health evaluations and follow any recommendations for treatment, pay court costs of about $1,000 and pay a $50 per month supervision fee while on parole.

He will begin the jail term at 2 p.m. on Feb. 28.

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