Man Allegedly Punched a Woman in the Face, Struck a Witness with His Car
A Pittsburgh man is accused of repeatedly punching a woman in the face and when another man witnessed it and tried to intervene, striking him with his car on Monday in Patton Township.
Patton Township police said Justin B. Flood, 20, and the woman began to argue while in the North Atherton Street Walmart and the argument continued into the parking lot and the car. A man told police that he and two co-workers witnessed Flood punching the woman in the face while in the parking lot.
The man followed Flood and the woman from the parking lot and while at the red light at Vairo Boulevard and North Atherton Street got out, went up to Flood's car and removed the woman from the vehicle, according to a criminal complaint. He took the woman into the parking lot of McDonald's, where Flood followed and told the woman to get back in his car and told the man to mind his own business, police said. He said the woman told him she would be fine and that he was only making things worse.
Flood then grabbed the woman by the arm and put her in his car, police said. The man stood in front of the car, attempting to stop them from leaving, and Flood allegedly accelerated. Police said the car struck the man, who went over the hood, hit the windshield and rolled up over the car and to the ground. The car then sped out of the parking lot and the man was able to obtain the license plate number.
Police said the McDonald's manager provided surveillance video that showed the man rolling over the windshield and being thrown to the ground but did not capture the initial impact. The man had foot and leg pain along with cuts and scrapes and was transported by ambulance to the hospital.
Officers located the vehicle, which had a smashed windshield, unoccupied in a Vairo Boulevard parking lot. Police found that Flood and the woman both worked at IHOP on South Atherton Street and both had just arrived for a shift. State College police who responded to the scene saw Flood leave through an emergency exit and run off.
While State College officers searched for Flood, a Patton Township detective interviewed the woman, who said Flood did strike her in the face several times and confirmed the witness' account. She said after Flood struck the man, Flood "drove crazy down Vairo Boulevard." After he parked the car, she ran because she was afraid and called a co-worker who picked her up and took her to IHOP, according to the complaint.
While speaking with the woman, the detective said he saw Flood running through the parking lot of the Super 8 motel. Flood was arrested by State College officers and transported to the Patton Township station where he was read his Miranda rights and agreed to answer questions, according to the complaint. He allegedly admitted to being involved in a physical altercation with the woman but when asked about striking the man with his car asked for an attorney and the interview was stopped.
Flood is charged with one felony count of aggravated assault; misdemeanor counts of simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and accident involving personal injury; and summary offenses of harassment and reckless driving.
He was arraigned on Monday night before District Judge Steven Lachman, who set straight monetary bail at $150,000. Flood was unable to post bail as of Tuesday afternoon and was being held at the Centre County Correctional Facility.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 15.