Donald Paul Ruch, 58, 610 E. Ninth St., Clearfield, an inmate of the jail, pleaded guilty to terroristic threats, harassment and public drunkenness. He was sentenced to six months to one year in jail and two years consecutive probation.
He was fined $400 plus costs. He was ordered to complete anger management counseling and not to have a prescription without permission from the probation office. He was originally charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and disorderly conduct.
Prior to sentencing, his wife, Sandra, addressed the court on behalf of herself and her children to ask for mercy. She asked that he receive a minimum sentence so he could “get out and back to work.” She explained that it has been difficult for her to make ends meet, but when Ruch is released, she said she would live with her mother. She still has a protection from abuse order in effect until June.
The charges stem from an incident at Ruch’s residence in Clearfield Borough on Dec. 12. According to the affidavit of probable cause, police responded to the third domestic call within four hours at this residence. When police arrived, they were at first unable to locate him. Eventually he was found hiding in a neighboring garage behind a refrigerator. Ruch, who smelled of alcohol, was taken into custody for public drunkenness.
His wife told officers he threatened to kill her and attempted to run her over by driving through a fence at her.
She explained that after the second incident at the home earlier, another officer took him to his sister’s house for the night. That officer advised Ruch if there was a third incident, he would be arrested.
Ruch kept calling his wife, demanding his truck, which is actually only registered to Sandra. She told him he couldn’t have the truck because he was drunk. It was then he started threatening to kill her.
Shortly after this, she heard a noise at the side kitchen door, which was Ruch entering. She told him to get out. Instead he swore at her and demanded the truck or he would “destroy” it and her. She again told him he wasn’t getting it because he was drunk.
“You had your chance. Now you are done,” he told her before getting into the truck. He placed it into reverse and rammed the driver’s side of a car that was blocking it in the driveway.
As she was standing on the patio in front of the truck with only a fence between them, she began screaming at him to stop. He then placed the truck into drive, drove over a railroad tie, a shrub and through a fence in an attempt to run her over. She was able to get into the side porch without getting hit. He then put the truck into reverse and slammed into the car again. Next he struck the passenger side of another vehicle parked nearby. He struck the first vehicle a third time and then struck the second car a second time. He fled shortly before police arrived.