Jefferson County Man Accused of Striking Three Individuals With Vehicle, Leaving Scene

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (EYT) – A Jefferson County man allegedly hit three individuals with his vehicle in a Punxsutawney area parking lot and then left the scene.

According to court documents, on January 2, the Punxsutawney Borough Police Department filed the following criminal charges against 37-year-old Jacob Anthony Clemento, of Punxsutawney:

  • Accidents Involving Death Or Personal Injury, Misdemeanor 1 (three counts)
  • Failure to Stop And Give Information, Render Aid, Summary (three counts)
  • Reckless Driving, Summary (three counts)

The charges stem from an incident that occurred at a parking lot in Punxsutawney on Saturday, December 29, 2018.

According to a criminal complaint, around 2:15 a.m. on December 29, Jefferson County 9-1-1 dispatched Officers Renwick and Mohney, of the Punxsutawney Borough Police Department, to a local bar on West Mahoning Street for a man hit by a vehicle.

Upon arrival, both officers witnessed a known man sitting on the ground. He complained of a sore tailbone. He said that he was trying to break up an argument when a man got into a vehicle and ran into him. Another man was on the scene of the accident and stated that he saw a GMC Envoy peel out at a high rate of speed and hit two people with the front end of the vehicle.

Around 3:42 a.m. officers located the driver of the vehicle – Jacob A. Clemento – at his home on Calvary Lane in Punxsutawney.

Clemento told officers there was more to the story than what they were told.

A known woman’s hand was allegedly injured from being pushed by a man at the bar parking lot.

Clemento and the woman were told to come to the station to provide a written statement about what happened.

Clemento came to station on Saturday, December 29, 2018, at 6:10 p.m. to provide a voluntary statement.

He stated that around 2:00 a.m. on Friday, December 28, a man and some of his friends came up to his car to harass him and his girlfriend as they were leaving the parking lot.

The man knocked on his window and tried to get him to get out of the car to fight. When he refused, the man became more belligerent.

Clemento said that by this time, the man’s friends had moved around his car blocking him from leaving.

His girlfriend got out to tell them all to back off when what looked to be the same man trying to get him to fight pushed his girlfriend onto the ground.

Clemento stated that he got out to get her up and back in the car and told all of them “It’s fine, we’re leaving.” The individuals stayed around the car and were still adamant about having a fight.

At that point, Clemento thought “things could get out of hand very quickly, so he put his car in reverse and backed up and then pulled away quickly.”

He said he had no intention of harming anyone and that he was “just trying to avoid what seemed like a very bad situation.”

The known woman also provided a voluntary statement.

She echoed Clemento’s account of the incident.

She stated that when she got out of the vehicle, she was shoved to the ground and injured her right hand and right elbow and was bleeding.

The victim also provided a voluntary statement.

The victim stated that the driver backed up and aimed his car at the person next to him. He then stated that the driver gunned the engine and hit him with his car knocking him into the air and landing on the pavement. The victim then stated that he landed on his tailbone then his head. He then stated that the driver did not stop and drove away.

Two other individuals reported that they were hit by the mirror of Clemento’s vehicle as he sped away. Neither of those individuals provided a written statement.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on February 4 in front of Magisterial District Judge Jacqueline J. Mizerock.


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