CLEARFIELD – A DuBois man accused of beating a man so badly he suffered both a broken leg and arm pleaded guilty Tuesday during sentencing court.
John D. Ward, 55, was charged with aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person after an incident on Jan. 3, 2022 after the victim was found on his knees on the ground between the sidewalk and curb on South Main Street in DuBois. He appeared to be in extreme pain and was unable to answer questions.
Officers noted in the criminal complaint that he had abrasions about his head, a black eye, cuts on his legs and his nose was bleeding.
The victim, who was still not able to speak, was flown to a hospital in Pittsburgh for treatment. It wasn’t until Jan. 9, 2022 that investigators were able to speak to the victim and learn he had been working with Ward prior to the assault.
On Tuesday, Ward was sentenced by Judge Paul E. Cherry to 22 months to five years in state prison. Ward was also ordered to complete anger management counseling.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, when police arrived, they found the victim who was bleeding, wearing sweat pants, a sweatshirt and socks, but no shoes. The temperature at that time was about 16 degrees.
After the ambulance arrived, the officers looked around the area to determine if he was struck by a vehicle or possibly dumped from a vehicle after being assaulted.
There was no evidence as to what happened to the man, and neighbors had seen nothing suspicious.
The woman who notified authorities was walking her dogs when she saw him on his knees and moaning, which is why she called for help.
Further investigation led to the owner of a South Main Street residence who said Ward had been doing remodeling on her home while she was away.
The victim remembered helping Ward paint and then lying on the couch but that was the last memories he had of that night.
He had a broken right leg, broken left arm, a hole in his leg, a swollen face and concussion.
When asked if he wanted charges filed on the person who assaulted him, he said yes, “because the person left him for dead.”
Ward was contacted and arrived at the police station to speak about what happened to the victim also on Jan. 9, 2022.
He told them he was working on the home and the victim was helping him. After they finished painting that evening, they smoked pot and drank beer.
The victim started “dominating” their conversation, he explained and at some point things got worse. They started pushing each other and he reportedly admitted to striking the victim.
The victim struck him back and after he struck him again, they went to the ground, kicking and punching.
Ward said he got so mad that he “blacked out” and forgot what happened after that. He admitted to kicking the victim in the legs and punching him in the head, according to the report.
Ward stated that he wasn’t hurt but knew the victim was in a lot of pain.
When asked if he struck the victim with a pipe or something, he said yes, he might have used one. He also mentioned he might have used a crowbar or pipe before throwing the victim out of the house onto the porch.
When he left the house the victim was still on the porch, Ward said.