CLEARFIELD – A DuBois man accused of breaking into the Lakeview Lodge, trying to strangle a man and fighting with police was sent for a psychiatric evaluation after he appeared for sentencing court Monday.
Ritchie Aaron Taylor, 46, was prepared to plead guilty to burglary, aggravated assault, strangulation and resisting arrest when he appeared before President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman in connection to an incident on Feb. 27 at the Lakeview Lodge.
His plea agreement was for an 11½-month minimum sentence and his attorney, Steven Johnston argued for a county sentence because he had no prior felonies on his record.
He explained to Ammerman that because Taylor is on new medications, “the person you see before you now” is not the same as the one who committed these offenses.
Taylor himself stated that he is “horrified” about his actions, and said he is “honestly so sorry” before adding he was “humiliated” by what he did.
Taylor’s mother addressed the court, saying he had been under a lot of stress and had “just snapped.” She further stated that he has been in various mental institutions in his life and has never gotten the right medication.
Ammerman commented that he sees more people with mental health problems coming through the system than he did 30 years ago.
He stated that if the victims in this case were in court they would probably not care about Taylor’s mental problems and would suggest he be sent to state prison.
Ammerman then decided to send Taylor to a state institution for a 60-day psychiatric evaluation. He will be scheduled for sentencing court again once the court has the results.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Taylor entered through the main front entrance during non-business hours and went downstairs to the bar/restaurant. The lights were off and there was no one in the area to indicate the business was open.
While in the bar area, Taylor allegedly consumed one or more alcoholic beverages. He then became irate and smashed over a dozen bottles of liquid onto the floor and knocked the cash register off the counter top, destroying the bar area.
After placing several beer bottles in his pants and coat pockets, he went into the kitchen area where the staff was cleaning and preparing food for later in the evening.
Here he encountered a man who was cleaning the deep fryers.
Taylor reportedly threw a bottle of beer striking the victim in the right side of the head. Taylor proceeded to threaten and attack the man and they fought for several minutes, police said.
During the assault, Taylor punched him in the nose multiple times, the victim told police.
According to a witness, at one point, Taylor pulled the victim’s shirt over his head and was attempting to strangle him with his hands.
A woman tried to release Taylor’s grip around the victim’s neck, but was unable to over power Taylor. She then ran into the back room and called 911.
The struggle continued until the officers arrived on the scene.
When the officers entered, they saw Taylor, who was covered in blood. At taser point, they asked him to put his hands in the air. He would not obey their commands and instead took a fighting stance.
When officers tried to take him into custody, he reportedly yelled and fought with them refusing to give up his hands that were near his bulging pockets. Once he was placed on the ground, he struggled and kicked at the officers.
One of the officers then deployed a taser on Taylor. They were then able to get his hands secured in handcuffs behind his back.
As they attempted to sit him up to pat him down for weapons, he then allegedly kicked one of the officers in the right leg.
When he was patted down, two bottles of beer were removed from his pants.
Offices said they thought Taylor appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance due to his irrational behavior.