CLEARFIELD – A Woodland man is facing felony and misdemeanor charges for allegedly assaulting a woman during a road rage incident in Clearfield.
Robert P. Roach, 36, was originally charged by Lawrence Township police with aggravated assault (two counts) and aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, all felonies.
He was also charged with simple assault, disorderly conduct and DUI (three counts), all misdemeanors, and five summaries. He’s being held in county jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Roach waived his right to a preliminary hearing on almost all the charges Wednesday during centralized court. The aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI charge was withdrawn.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, police were called to a reported harassment incident at Long John Silver’s at approximately 4:17 p.m. May 11.
While en route, officers were advised that a blue-colored Jeep had hit another vehicle and overturned onto its roof in the restaurant’s lot.
The driver, later identified as Roach, was able to exit his vehicle, at which point he began assaulting the woman driver of the other vehicle.
He was reportedly hitting the woman in the face and also trying to pull her out of the vehicle while she was screaming for help.
When township police arrived on-scene just before 4:30 p.m., Clearfield Borough officers were detaining Roach. The woman was inside her vehicle.
Roach was arrested and placed in a patrol unit. Arresting officer Nick Kovalick then spoke to the woman who had facial bruising and was apparently still in shock over the incident.
She told Kovalick she wasn’t sure why Roach had assaulted her. She said she was traveling from the area of Sheetz, along Route 879, when he began following her.
She said as he was tailgating her, he was also making rude gestures. He continued following her through the Clearfield Mall intersection. For that reason, she called police and pulled into the Long John Silver’s parking lot to find someone to help her.
She said Roach followed her into the lot and rammed his vehicle into hers, which damaged the driver’s side door and caused his vehicle to overturn.
Then, the woman said, Roach exited his vehicle, confronting her and hitting her in the face multiple times with a closed fist.
A witness tried to intervene but was unsuccessful, according to the affidavit. The woman and Roach were both evaluated by emergency personnel on-scene.
The woman had multiple cuts and scrapes on her face, as well as swelling and bruising from the assault. Roach had minor injuries.
Police obtained statements and videos from witnesses, and Roach was transported to the police station for an interview. He told police he was having problems with his fiancée, and Children & Youth Services had taken his children away.
He said he went to town to cash a check and to discuss his problems with an attorney when he thought he saw his fiancée in a vehicle with another male.
He said he followed the vehicle and as it entered the Long John Silver’s lot, he floored his gas and rammed their vehicle so they couldn’t get away from him.
Upon impact, Roach said his vehicle overturned onto its roof, he exited and screamed for the male. He said the woman screamed back, “I have no idea who you are.”
He said he then began shaking the woman and tried to pull her from the vehicle. He reportedly admitted to having punched her about eight times.
When asked by police if he knew the woman, he claimed it was his fiancée and “John T” and reportedly admitted to having used methamphetamine about five hours earlier.
Police administered field sobriety tests, which determined Roach was under the influence. He was taken to Clearfield Penn Highlands for a blood draw, then returned to the station.
Witness videos showed Roach hit the woman in the face at least 11 times, and try to pull her through her broken vehicle window at least three times, according to the affidavit.
During the assault, a witness was seen trying to intervene but they were unsuccessful. Roach was heard screaming at the woman to get out and she was heard yelling for help, police said.