CLEARFIELD – A DuBois man accused of breaking into the Lakeview Lodge and assaulting a man was sentenced Monday.
Ritchie Aaron Taylor, 46, pleaded guilty to burglary, aggravated assault, strangulation, and resisting arrest before President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman, who sentenced him to 11½ months to two years less one day in the county jail along with two years probation.
Prior to sentencing, Ammerman noted that Taylor had been sent to state prison for a 60-day psychological evaluation in December. A report concluded that Taylor has chronic mental issues due to alcohol-induced depressive disorder and cannabis-induced anxiety.
Taylor’s attorney, Steven Johnston, argued for a county sentence saying Taylor has already served over nine months and during the time because he was free of any substances had time to reflect on what he had done.
Taylor himself stated that he didn’t want to go back to state prison and commented that he wanted to “salvage some kind of a life” for himself.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, when police arrived at the Lakeview Lodge on Feb. 27, 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 yelled and fought with them and refused 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 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.
Taylor was transferred to Penn Highlands DuBois for a medical evaluation.
After speaking to witnesses, police determined that Taylor entered through the main front entrance during non-business hours and went to bar/restaurant downstairs. The lights were off and there was no one in the area to indicate the business was open.
Taylor entered the bar area where he 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 that, he placed several beer bottles in his pants and coat pockets. He next went back to the kitchen area where the staff was cleaning and preparing food for later in the evening.
He proceeded into the main kitchen prep area undetected by staff and encountered a man who was cleaning the deep fryers.
Taylor, who was standing on the opposite end of the counter, threw a bottle of beer striking the victim in the right side of the head. It then landed in the deep fryer.
Taylor proceeded to threaten and attack the man, as 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 help the victim by releasing Taylor’s grip around his neck, but was unable to overpower him. She then ran into the back room and called 911.
The struggle continued for several minutes until the officers arrived on the scene.
In an unrelated case, Taylor also pleaded guilty to driving under the influence for which he received a three-day to six-month concurrent sentence.