DUBOIS – A Saxonburg man remains in Clearfield County Jail after a judge found that he likely assaulted a Butler woman in DuBois May 4.
Matthew T. Barkman, 36, asked for a hearing to be held before Magisterial District Judge Patrick N. Ford in DuBois, and after that hearing, the judge decided that there was enough evidence in the case to hold charges of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and other counts to court.
Several police officers from DuBois City Police and Sandy Township Police testified during the hearing and said that Barkman reportedly choked a woman and may have hit her, causing her to have injuries to her lip, hand and forehead.
The woman, currently incarcerated in Butler County Jail on unrelated charges, testified through tears, telling the judge, “Matt choked me, and I blacked out. When I came to, my head was pounding.” She also told the judge that she was choked in the bathroom of a West Weber Avenue, DuBois City home, but she woke up in the house’s living room.
The woman admitted that she had been drinking and may have taken other drugs the same day.
Officer Jason Gill of the Sandy Township Police Department testified that Barkman ran from the home where the attack allegedly occurred, and Gill chased him. Barkman was finally found on West Long Avenue. Gill said he had to use “pepper mace” to bring Barkman down.
Police searched Barkman, and a small baggie of a white powder that was tested and found to be cocaine was reportedly found on him.
Before the judge made a decision as to whether the charges would be held, Mike Marshall, Clearfield County public defender, said, “It’s unclear whether she was rendered unconscious or with the intoxication and what happened to her head, she just wasn’t able to remember.” Marshall said that the aggravated assault charge, for this reason, should be dismissed.
Earl Lees, Clearfield County assistant district attorney, said, “She does remember being choked. She remembers she was choked in the bathroom, and she came to in the living room.”
Judge Ford found that there was enough evidence against Barkman to prove the aggravated assault count. “The choking of an individual to the point they’re blacking out, in my opinion, amounts to a serious injury risk.”
Barkman is also charged with two counts of simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance and receiving stolen property in addition to the aggravated assault and resisting arrest charges.
He is in CCJ in lieu of $50,000 straight bail.