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Man convicted of assault for hitting Fayette school crossing guard

| Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, 12:02 a.m.

A Fayette County man accused of hitting a school crossing guard with his car was convicted Tuesday of simple assault and reckless endangerment.

A jury deliberated for less than two hours before returning the guilty verdicts against Robert E. Welch, 34, of 160 First Ave., New Eagle. The jury acquitted Welch of a more serious charge of aggravated assault.

Edgar Jones on Monday testified he was working as a crossing guard in front of Marion Elementary School in Washington Township, on Jan. 3, 2008, when he saw a Pontiac Fiero speeding toward him. Jones testified he was holding up a stop sign so a bus could exit the school grounds when he saw the car and moved into its lane of traffic.

Jones, 65, of Washington Township, testified he was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital, where he was treated for fractured ribs and received 36 stitches to his forehead and 16 to his left knee.

Welch testified the brakes on his 1986 Fiero had been replaced a few weeks before. He told the jury they were functioning properly until he entered the school zone. The brakes began to work again after he left the school zone, he said.

He testified he did not see Jones and thought he had hit the rear of the bus. He said he was able to stop the car after pumping the brakes continuously.

Welch is to be sentenced 9:30 a.m. Friday before Judge Steve Leskinen.

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