Jefferson County Man Accused of Striking Driver in Face, Grabbing Steering Wheel, Causing Crash

YOUNG TWP., Pa. (EYT) – A Jefferson County man allegedly struck a woman who was driving, grabbed the steering wheel, and then caused the vehicle to drive into a guide rail on Sunday night.

Court documents indicate 49-year-old David Aaron Hess, of Big Run, was arraigned at 9:10 a.m. on Monday, March 11, on the following charges:

  • Simple Assault, Misdemeanor 2
  • Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Misdemeanor 2
  • DUI: General Impairment/Incapable of Driving Safely – 1st Offense, Misdemeanor
  • Harassment – Subject Other to Physical Contact, Summary
  • Criminal Mischief – Damage Property, Summary
  • Disorderly Conduct Engage In Fighting, Summary
  • Operate Vehicle Without Required Financial Responsibility, Summary
  • Disregard Traffic Lane (Single), Summary
  • Careless Driving, Summary
  • Reckless Driving, Summary

According to a criminal complaint, around 7:50 p.m. on March 10, David Aaron Hess engaged in a verbal altercation with a known female victim at the parking lot of the Walmart Store in Young Township and suddenly became irate.

Hess allegedly struck the front windshield of a vehicle with a closed fist, causing the window to break, and then entered the vehicle on the passenger side, struck the victim in the face with a closed fist, and pulled the victim’s hair.

According to the complaint, the victim then began to operate the vehicle, traveling through Punxsutawney Borough and onto State Route 36 south near Strawcutter Lane when Hess again struck the victim in the face with a closed fist and grabbed the steering wheel, causing the vehicle to leave the lane of travel and strike a guide rail, becoming disabled.

The complaint notes that based on the circumstances, Trooper O’Rourke of the Punxsutawney-based State Police, “determined there was probable cause to believe alcohol was involved. Hess was placed under arrest and transported to Punxsutawney Area Hospital by Jefferson County EMS where he agreed to submit to a blood test.”

Charges were filed in Magisterial District Judge Jacqueline J. Mizerock’s office on Monday, March 11.

Unable to post $25,000.00 monetary bail, he was lodged in the Jefferson County Jail.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. on Tuesday, March 26, with Magisterial District Judge Jacqueline J. Mizerock presiding.

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