CLEARFIELD – A former DuBois man was taken to the hospital instead of the jail following his sentencing on an assault charge Monday.
David Joseph McElwee, 35, whose address is now listed in court documents as Punxsutawney, was in court to plead guilty to simple assault, endangering the welfare of a child and harassment.
President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman sentenced him to 30 days to one year in jail followed by two years probation for simple assault, endangering the welfare of children and harassment.
He was also ordered to complete anger management counseling.
Not long after he was taken out of court to be transported to the jail, there were indications among court staff that he was suffering from possible withdrawal from methamphetamine.
After court ended, Court Administrator F. Cortez “Chip” Bell confirmed that McElwee had a medical emergency while he was in custody and was taken to Penn Highlands Clearfield for treatment.
McElwee had reportedly admitted to staff that he had used methamphetamine around 11 p.m. Sunday night.
The original charges stem from an incident on Oct. 23, 2018 in DuBois when McElwee hit a 12-yar-old boy so hard he knocked his glasses off, slammed the boy into a wall and threw a cell phone at him, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
Police say the victim reported that McElwee has physically abused him multiple times and punished him by making him do squats while holding heavy objects. He stated he was abused on a regular basis.
Photos taken of the boy showed bruising on his arms and legs that are consistent with the abuse he had described.
His mother also provided investigators with a photo from January of that year that showed bruising on the juvenile’s lower back, which came from McElwee hitting him with a paddle.