Bicyclist back in hot seat for ignoring court order to stay off Westmoreland roads
The Hempfield bicyclist who served nearly two years behind bars for obstructing traffic on county roadways could roll his way back to jail soon.
Westmoreland County prosecutors contend David Smith, 59, violated terms of his probation by riding his bicycle on county roads in late October.
“I don’t know what the court would do in a situation like this. This did not lead to new charges; it’s more of a technical violation,” Assistant District Attorney Anthony Iannamorelli said during a brief hearing Thursday.
Smith, who walked with a cane, was granted a delay in the scheduled probation violation hearing, saying his new lawyer was not present in court. Smith said he has parted ways with attorney Larry Burns, who represented him during years of legal wrangling and a weeklong trial that ended in criminal convictions on nine misdemeanors that stemmed from six incidents dating to 2012.
A date for the next probation violation hearing has not been set.
Prosecutors contended Smith, an avid bicyclist, biked down the center of roads throughout Hempfield, Unity, South Greensburg and other areas of the county, causing major traffic backups and in several instances was a danger to motorists who he would not allow to pass.
Judge Meagan Bilik-DeFazio in November 2017 sentenced Smith to serve four to 23 months in jail and two years on probation. Smith, at the time he was sentenced, had already served about 20 months behind bars after refusing to accept bail conditions that required him to receive a mental health evaluation.
At various times during his prosecution, Smith was granted bail but later returned to jail after police said he continued to commit crimes while riding his bicycle and ignored court orders that barred him from doing so.
Bilik-DeFazio prohibited Smith from riding a bicycle on county roads during his parole and probation terms.
Smith’s probation period will not expire until January 2020, according to court records.
In court documents filed by probation officers, Smith is accused of riding his bike Oct. 29 on a county road. Probation officials also contend he owes $1,974 in court costs and fines and $1,644 in restitution payments. Court records indicate he has made no restitution or court cost payments since November 2017.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich
at 724-830-6293 or
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, email@example.com or via Twitter .