Dawson man held for court on assault charges

| Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 12:32 a.m.

Charges have been held to county court against a Dawson man who allegedly assaulted two men with a pick-ax handle and bit a woman's hand.

Jerry Allan Mulac, 44, of 254 Davis Road was charged with four counts of aggravated assault, four counts of simple assault, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct and two counts of harassment at District Judge Dwight Shaner's office in February.

During his preliminary hearing at Shaner's office on Tuesday, Fayette County Assistant District Attorney Linda Cordaro amended to add a third victim to the charges of simple assault and harassment.

On 8:25 p.m. Dec. 27, Brock Rice was traveling along David Road when he saw Mulac standing in the middle of the roadway, holding an ax in one hand and yelling at Rice.

Testifying during the hearing, Rice said he stopped his truck and rolled down his window as Mulac approached the driver's side of the truck. Rice said Mulac struck him below his left eye with the ax handle.

“I felt blood running down my face,” Rice said, adding that he couldn't recall what Mulac was yelling. “Not in a million years I thought something like this would happen.”

Rice opened his truck door to push Mulac back and then fled the area, heading to the home of his in-laws, who contacted state police. It was at that point that Rice's father-in-law, Donald Sprout Sr., went to the Mulac residence.

Sprout testified he was sleeping when Rice entered his home with a swelled eye and blood running down his face. He decided to drive to Mulac's residence to “see what's going on.”

He said he drove to the residence, pulled in Mulac's driveway, didn't see Mulac anywhere, so he took his truck back on the road.

After Sprout left the residence, Rice and his brother-in-law went to make sure Sproat was okay. While Sprout was driving back, he saw Mulac standing in the middle of the road, beating the road with the pick ax. Rice jumped aside to avoid being struck with Sprout's truck.

“The only thing I remember was opening the door and that was it,” Sprout said. He was struck in the head with the ax handle and started to black out.

Rice said he saw Mulac beating Sprout with the ax handle.

Sprout said he remembered holding on to the rubber rail on the side of the truck and tried to get coordinated; he also saw Mulac coming toward him.

“And I clocked him one,” Sprout said. He managed to hold Mulac by the throat. Neighbors came to his assistance as he started to black out.

Sprout was flown to UPMC for treatment of two fractures to his head, dizziness and bleeding on the brain. He was released after a week.

Rice said when he saw Mulac hitting Sprout, he tackled Sprout. He said others at the scene then got involved.

“It was just chaos,” Rice said.

During the altercation, Rice's wife, Donna, arrived and was about to move a person off of her brother, when Mulac bit her fingers, drawing blood. Donna Rice was the third victim added to Mulac's charges.

Mulac's attorney, Jon Maknoon of Pittsburgh, said he didn't believe some of the injuries sustained by the victims warranted some of the charges against Mulac and his client also sustained injuries that required him to be transported to the hospital.

Maknoon said he plans to produce evidence, including video, that will tell a different story than what was presented at the preliminary hearing.

“I hope people will save judgment until all the evidence comes in,” Maknoon said. “My client vehemently denies these allegations.”

Shaner held all charges for Fayette County Court. A formal arraignment for Mulac was set at 9:30 a.m. May 16 in Courtroom Four of the Fayette County Courthouse.

Mulac is free on $10,000 unsecured bond.

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or mhofmann@tribweb.com.

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