Coalport man pleads guilty in ‘drunken rampage’ on 1st day of trout season

mcarroll@centredaily.comJanuary 28, 2014 

A Coalport man has pleaded guilty to 41 counts in what prosecutors described as a “drunken rampage” on the opening day of trout fishing season.

Craig A. Thompson was accused of running over a woman with a stolen truck and later, after he had been taken into custody, trying to take control of a state police cruiser and ramming it into another police vehicle.

Among the long list of charges against Thompson are 11 felonies, 15 misdemeanors and numerous summary offenses.

Thompson pleaded guilty Monday, just days before he was set to face trial on the charges, according to court documents.

His attorney, public defender Deborah Lux, said her client risked receiving a harsher prison sentence if the case went to trial, and that he accepted a plea deal in the case.

Prosecutors described Thompson’s crime spree, which began April 13:

Thompson stole a 1997 Dodge Ram from a man who was camping with his family and friends in the Philipsburg area.

While stealing the truck, Thompson exposed himself to a woman in another vehicle and rammed her vehicle in an attempt to flee.

Thompson became hostile when confronted by those at the camp and ran over a woman, crushing her ankle and causing serious injury. He tried to run the woman over a second time, but another man pulled her to safety.

After fleeing the scene, Thompson broke into a nearby tavern and stole two bottles of alcohol.

He then traveled to his sister’s home, broke into the residence and destroyed a fish tank with a cigar roller.

Thompson abandoned the truck after it became stuck in a field in Clearfield County and fled on foot.

He was taken into custody by state police, but in a final escape attempt, took control of a cruiser and rammed it into another police vehicle. Troopers were standing by the second vehicle at the time.

Troopers had to break a window of the first vehicle and use a stun gun to subdue Thompson, who refused to take his foot off the accelerator pedal even though the vehicle was pinned against the second cruiser.

“The defendant slashed a path of absolute devastation with his drunken rage,” District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said in a statement. “He showed no hesitation or regard for who he hurt or what he destroyed. We will ensure that he answers for his actions.”

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