North Huntingdon man charged with attempt to run over officer
A North Huntingdon man was charged on Friday with nearly striking a township police officer with his car when he and another man allegedly were found smoking marijuana.
James E. Lint, 20, was charged by Westmoreland County Detective Richard Kranitz with aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person and possession of a small amount of marijuana.
Kranitz alleges in an affidavit of probable cause, filed before District Judge Douglas Weimer, that Lint was driving a Dodge sedan that nearly struck Officer William Bouldin about 8 p.m. in Hilltop Park in the Huntingdon Heights section of the township.
Bouldin stopped at the park while on a routine patrol and saw the parked car.
“The vehicle was occupied by two white males, who were observed reaching under the seats and/or the dashboard upon Officer Bouldin's approach,” the affidavit said. “The occupants did not follow Officer Bouldin's commands to ‘stop' and ‘show their hands.' ”
Kranitz said Lint started the car as Bouldin approached, began “backing up and then accelerated toward Officer Bouldin at a high rate of speed.”
“Fearing for his life, Officer Bouldin drew his handgun and discharged his weapon several times at the vehicle,” the affidavit said.
The car fled the park.
The two occupants were identified the next morning when the passenger, identified in court documents as Ryan T. DePaulo, 21, of North Huntingdon, sought treatment in Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville for a bullet wound in his right arm.
DePaulo has not been charged.
According to Kranitz, DePaulo, who was interviewed in the hospital by Detective James Williams, said he and Lint were smoking marijuana before Bouldin's arrival.
DePaulo allegedly admitted that the pair ignored Bouldin's commands “and (Lint) floored it,” driving toward the officer, who started firing his handgun, according to the affidavit.
Krantiz said the investigation determined that Bouldin acted appropriately.
“Our investigation confirmed the officer's initial statements that he was in fear for his life when he fired the shots,” Kranitz said.
Two of the shots struck the windshield of the fleeing car and five hit the driver's side door, according to police reports.
Lint was released on signature bond pending a preliminary hearing on Dec. 18 before Weimer.
Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-850-2860 or firstname.lastname@example.org.