Coal Township man wanted in connection with assault in custody
SHAMOKIN - A 33-year-old Coal Township man wanted by authorities since May was taken into custody Wednesday morning at his residence by state parole agents and police and charged in connection with the assault of another Coal Township resident in Zerbe Township.
Ronald C. Bowman, of 908 W. State St., was arraigned shortly before 10 a.m. by Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III on two felony counts of aggravated assault and a misdemeanor of simple assault filed by Zerbe Township Police Chief Robert John.
Bowman, who also was wanted for a parole violation, had eluded authorities for approximately six months after a warrant was issued for his arrest in the
alleged May 26 assault of Brian Kitchen, 47, of Coal Township, in a mountainous area known as the "Sands" in Zerbe Township. Kitchen suffered two broken eye orbits, a broken nose and two broken ribs that required him to be treated at a local hospital, police said.
The suspect was taken into custody at about 8 a.m. at his residence by several state parole agents and Coal Township police. He was escorted to his arraignment by state parole agent Susan Stout, Coal Township Patrolman Terry Ketchem and Constable Glenn Masser.
During his arraignment, Bowman, who was wearing a T-shirt, shorts and sneakers, told the judge he had disappeared for a "little bit" and claimed to have been stabbed in the lung area by another man Monday. Bowman, who identified his alleged attacker, said he mended the stab wound himself and filed a complaint about the incident with Coal Township police upon being taken into custody Wednesday morning. Bowman said he was stabbed in Coal Township.
Masser told Gembic that Bowman, who had his arms and legs shackled, would have to be transported to a hospital for further medical attention before he could be incarcerated at Northumberland County Prison in Sunbury on $75,000 cash bail set by the judge.
Gembic ordered Bowman to appear for a preliminary hearing at his office at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Richard Lee Lahr III, 31, of 1044 W. Spruce St., Coal Township, was previously charged by John with the same offenses in connection with the assault of Kitchen.
Lahr, who violated his probation by being charged in the alleged assault, also had eluded authorities before turning himself over to Constable Glenn Masser on July 16.
Lahr waived to court his preliminary hearing Aug. 14 and is awaiting further court action. He remains incarcerated in the county jail.
According to a criminal complaint, John received a telephone message at 11:14 a.m. May 29 to call Kitchen, who claimed to have been assaulted between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. May 26 at the "Sands."
Kitchen told police he and his wife, Sharon, and some friends were talking with other people when a red Ford Explorer pulled up and parked next to his Jeep before backing into the driver's side rear of the Jeep. Kitchen said he then went to see if his Jeep had been damaged. After not spotting any damage on his vehicle and a broken taillight on the Explorer, Kitchen told the driver, who was later identified as Bowman, not to worry about it, before returning to his wife and friends.
A couple minutes later, Kitchen said he went over to his Jeep to get a drink when Bowman came around the back of his vehicle while Lahr, who was a passenger in the Explorer, went around the front. Kitchen told police he thought Bowman was going to apologize for striking his Jeep. But when Kitchen extended his hand, Bowman punched him in the face, while Lahr hit him in the back of the head, police said. Kitchen said he then fell to his knees and was dazed.
At that point, Kitchen said he put his arms and hands up to protect his face, but Bowman and Lahr started punching and kicking him in the back and front rib area.
Kitchen said Bowman and Lahr ran from the scene and fled in the Explorer. Kitchen said a couple of his friends pursued Bowman and Lahr, but were unable to catch them.