The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


July 27, 2012

Tow truck fuss ended by pepper spray

A West Milton man has been charged with aggravated assault for allegedly attacking a tow truck driver who had been trying to remove a pickup truck parked in a no-parking zone in Lewisburg.

A Buffalo Valley Regional Police officer issued a parking ticket to a Dodge Ram pickup truck parked in a construction zone on Market Street in Lewisburg and then summoned a tow truck around 4:30 p.m. on July 15.

A short time later, John Edward Hine, called 911 to report that his pickup was being stolen. When the officer responded, he allegedly discovered that Hine had shoved the tow truck driver, taken the keys to the tow truck and then placed the call reporting that his truck was being stolen.

The officer said Hine began to ask if the officer was investigating the incident as a stolen vehicle case, yelling: "Are you here to take the report, yes or no?"

Patrolman Thomas Snyder said the truck was parked illegally, prompting Hine to rip down the no-parking sign while saying, "That date doesn't have a date on it."

Hine then allegedly began to approach the officer and refused to cease his advance until the office pushed him back. Hine stumbled but did not fall and Snyder took out and a can of pepper spray. The officer said Hine saw the pepper spray and began to say he would file a complaint about the use of "excessive force."

Snyder said he put the pepper spray away and called for backup. He then told Hine to turn around because he was under arrest. Snyder said Hine refused to comply, so after waiting three seconds, he shot Haine in the face with the pepper spray.

Snyder said Hine immediately complied and relinquished the pickup keys.

Among other minor charges, Hine was charged with aggravated assault for attacking the tow truck driver; theft, for taking the tow truck keys; resisting arrest; and filing a false report for trying to report his truck as stolen when it was being towed.


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