CLEARFIELD – An 18-year-old Clearfield man who has been accused for his role in an aggravated assault had all his charges bound over to court by Magisterial District Judge Michael Rudella Wednesday.
Cody Robert Brown, 18 of Clearfield, faces charges of aggravated assault; recklessly endangering another person; two counts of both simple assault and harassment; disorderly conduct and theft by unlawful taking. He had another aggravated assault charge for intent to cause bodily injury added prior to the start of his hearing.
Rudella, however, dismissed all charges against co-defendant Nicholas K. Rumsey, 18 of Curwensville. The co-defendant had been charged with aggravated assault; recklessly endangering another person; and two counts of simple assault, harassment and disorderly conduct. Like Brown, he was also facing the extra aggravated assault charge.
Rudella stated that Rumsey could have the charges re-filed against him if Officer Jonathan Walker, of the Lawrence Township Police Department, is able to find additional witnesses for his role in the incident.
Shayne Evans, 19 of Clearfield, testified that he didn’t personally know Brown but knew of him. He also said that he would not know Rumsey to see him.
Evans said that he had observed Brown attempting to steal tin from his cousin’s property in the Mann Road area.
He said although he did not own the property, it belonged to family members. He said that they own 120 acres, and they watch each other’s land. He said that Brown had items loaded on his vehicle, but he made him unload it.
“I wasn’t angry or going to beat him up. It wasn’t my stuff,” he said. “I (don’t) think it is right to steal from anyone, let alone my family. I wasn’t going to allow him to take it.”
Evans said on Aug. 30, he was driving along Calvary Road. He said he observed Brown’s truck parked along the road by the water treatment plant. He said the street was not well lit. He said he recognized the vehicle from the illumination of his headlights.
He said he stopped beside the vehicle and wanted to speak with Brown. He said he could see Brown in the vehicle. At that time, he said his passenger, David Cole, 21, exited their vehicle.
Evans testified he was told Brown and his passenger had been smoking weed. He said he could smell the odor of the same coming from the vehicle. He said he noticed “a lot of smoke” after the window was rolled down.
He said he stopped out of concern, as Brown had attempted to steal from his family’s property. He said they had property in the area, and he had told Brown to stay away. He said they did not speak about his previous incident with Brown a few days earlier.
He said that Brown swung his vehicle into reverse to leave, striking Cole with its front end as a result. He said Cole fell down over an embankment that was probably around a 4-foot drop off.
“It’s not gradual but not straight down,” Evans said. He said that Cole was not hurt and able to return to the vehicle.
According to Evans’ testimony, they followed Brown toward Coal Hill, through town and to a Hillsdale residence. He said they followed him, as he had just struck Cole. He said although Cole wasn’t hurt, he could have been.
Evans said that he drove “kind of fast” at first and was probably traveling at 55 – 60 miles per hour. He said he caught up with Brown’s vehicle. He said he blinked his lights, signaling for Brown to stop.
He said Brown was traveling faster and ahead of him. He said they gained on Brown and was within two feet at times.
He said they traveled through town on East Market Street. He said Brown ran red lights and pulled out in front of another vehicle.
Evans testified that he stopped at the first and third red lights on East Market Street. He said the light, which is located at the Courthouse intersection, was green, when he approached the same. He said that he watched Brown turn right into Hillsdale.
He said that he continued to follow Brown to the Hillsdale residence for retaliation purposes. He said Brown was outside with around 15 other guys. He said he and Cole exited his vehicle, admitting they could have backed up and left.
Evans testified he could see about half of them had golf clubs in hand. He said they were about five or six feet away from him.
He said someone approached Cole and swung at him. He said that Cole blocked the swing and threw the club across the yard. He said that they did not use the club in their own defense.
He said that Cole took the male who attempted to strike him and had him in a headlock on the ground. He said that Cole was not punching the male and only restraining him.
Evans said he was initially going to assist Cole. He said that Brown was on the porch and had swung at Cole. He said that he saw Brown strike Cole with the golf club. Afterward, he said that Cole needed his help to return to the vehicle.
He said they then went to Brown’s brother’s apartment. He said he went there looking for Brown. He said the apartment’s occupants saw them pull up and locked the door.
Evans said he kicked the door and entered the apartment. He said he helped Cole inside, but they did not engage in a physical altercation. He said the police arrived, and both he and Cole were taken into custody.
Evans said they indicated to police that Cole had been injured. He said that Cole refused medical treatment, however. He said they were incarcerated for about 12 hours.
In his testimony, Cole stated that he was with Evans on Aug. 30. He said they were driving around and noticed Brown’s vehicle. He said he exited the vehicle in order to speak with Brown about his previous theft incident at Evans’ cousin’s property.
He said that Evans had told him about Brown’s attempt to steal from his family’s property. He said he just walked over to Brown’s vehicle. He said he didn’t believe Brown or his passengers could’ve been scared, as he did not approach them in an upset manner.
Cole said that Brown took off abruptly. He said he was struck by Brown’s vehicle and fell over an embankment. He said that Evans helped him over the bank. He said the two followed Brown’s vehicle to a Hillsdale residence.
Unlike previous testimony, Cole stated that Evans stayed one to two car lengths from Brown’s vehicle during the chase. He said Evans could have applied his breaks at any time without impacting the vehicle ahead.
At the residence, Cole said he couldn’t recall how many of the guys had golf clubs but said he believed possibly four of five. He said a male swung a golf club at him. He said he could not identify the male.
He said he grabbed the golf club from the male, and the two fell to the ground. He said while he was on the ground, another male struck him from behind with a golf club.
Cole testified he was struck in his back near his kidneys and a second time around his shoulder blade.
“It was boom, boom,” he said.
He said when he stood up, he could barely walk. He said if he stood upright, he was in pain. He said he had to “hunch” over in order to walk.
Cole said they then went to Brown’s brother’s apartment. He said he knew they were not invited inside. He said Evans kicked the door in order for them to enter. He said the police showed up shortly after.
Cole said he was arrested and placed in jail overnight. He said he was hurting badly and should have had medical treatment. He said he suffered through it to avoid medical expenses.
Following his release, he said he went to the Clearfield Hospital, as he was urinating blood. He said he was transported to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, by ambulance.
He said he suffered a lacerated kidney and was hospitalized for three days. He said he was still in pain after his release and unable to work for two weeks. He said the pain was too much for him.
Both Evans and Cole indicated they were charged by the Clearfield Borough Police Department.
Evans said he faced criminal mischief and public drunkenness charges. Cole said he had been charged with disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.
They also said they were aware of additional charges being filed by the Lawrence Township Police Department.
Walker said he received both a written and verbal statement from Brown in relation to the incident. He said Brown initially denied any knowledge of the incident.
Defense Attorney Ron Collins asked Walker if he believed Brown and the others who were in possession of the golf clubs used them in defense of their friend who Cole was on top of on the ground.
“Negative. Not with a golf club,” he said. Walker said he filed the aggravated assault charges based on Cole’s injured kidney and facts. He said the golf club was a “deadly weapon.”
Walker also indicated that both Evans and Cole were facing charges of stalking with threat to terrorize and harassment in regards to the incident.
Collins requested that all charges against Brown be dropped. He said as indicated in Walker’s charges, Evans and Cole terrorized Brown and his passengers during the chase.
He pointed out that Cole was struck only twice and not repeatedly. He said Cole also postponed medical treatment until the day following the incident. He said Cole’s injuries did not require surgery, and he was only hospitalized for observation.
Assistant District Attorney Earle D. Lees said that someone only needs to attempt at bodily injury for it to be considered aggravated assault.
“Because you swing and miss doesn’t mean that you didn’t have the intent to (do so),” he said. He said Cole was struck twice, and it resulted in injury, regardless of severity.
Rudella said the location of the assault was not a “driving range.” He said from testimony, he extracted that anywhere from five to 15 individuals could have been present.
“I wasn’t there. I don’t know how many were there. I don’t know how or where they all got golf clubs so quickly,” he said.
He also said that he believed Evans and Cole took the law into their own hands. He said they both only added to the situation.
Rudella said he realized that the individuals who were in possession of the golf clubs could have been under duress. He said they still made the decision to swing the club.
“It’s certainly a deadly weapon,” he said.