The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 8, 2014

Taser-using guard drops attempt to get job back

By Marcia Moore
The Daily Item

— MIDDLEBURG — A former Snyder County Prison guard fired for using a Taser on a nurse inside the jail in October 2012 pleaded guilty to harassment Wednesday and agreed to drop efforts to get his job back.

Randy L. Noll, 28, of Middleburg, expressed regret for his actions that led to his termination and being charged with a crime during the plea hearing before Snyder County Judge Michael T. Hudock.

Under the terms of the agreement, Noll pleaded guilty to a summary count of harassment and the commonwealth dismissed charges of simple assault, possessing instruments of crime and using an electronic incapacitation device.

“We concur that given the conditions of the plea — that he won’t reapply for his job at the prison — is a significant penalty,” Hudock said.

Noll was also ordered to pay a $300 fine and court costs.

He was charged early last year following his termination from the prison job he’d held for about three years after Warden Ruth Rush learned of the alleged prank involving him and Rebecca Bickhart, a nurse employed by Prime Care Medical to work in the jail.

According to court records, Noll and Bickhart were joking around in the main control and intake area of the facility at 600 Old Colony Road on Oct. 15, 2012, when Noll retrieved a Taser from a locked cabinet, cornered her in a holding cell and shocked her with the device on the forearm.

Rush called state police the next day to report a weapon being discharged in the prison when she learned of the incident.

Noll was immediately suspended without pay and later terminated as a result of using a Taser on another prison employee.

“We’re pleased to put the matter behind us,” prison board chairman Malcolm Derk said after Noll’s plea hearing. “We feel strongly that that behavior is not to be tolerated.”