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Man is found guilty on assault counts

November 15, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

A Hagerstown man accused of trying to take the car of a man who gave him ride was found guilty of several counts, including assault, on Tuesday in Washington County District Court.

Jason Wayne Fitzgerald, 20, of 71 Madison Ave., was found guilty of three counts of second-degree assault, malicious destruction of property valued at more than $500 and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle. One other charge - attempted carjacking - was thrown out in a judgment of acquittal, in which the court determines the state's evidence is insufficient to support conviction.

Fitzgerald took a vehicle from a West Side Avenue residence on Sept. 4 sometime after 7 p.m., according to a charging document. When the vehicle apparently broke down on Dual Highway near Eastern Boulevard, Fitzgerald accepted a ride from a man driving a 2006 Nissan Sentra, according to the document.

Demanding the car from the man who gave him a ride, Fitzgerald hit the driver and the driver's passengers, according to the document.

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Fitzgerald jumped out of the car after the driver drove to the Hagerstown Police Department, but when the driver set off to find Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald hit the car with a baseball bat, breaking a window and damaging the vehicle, according to the document.

A woman who later reported the first vehicle Fitzgerald was driving as stolen told police she keeps her key under the floor mat so she does not lose it.

Fitzgerald was at the Washington County Detention Center Tuesday night, a deputy said.

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