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Man pleads guilty to charges stemming from rammed vehicle

Judge orders pre-sentence investigation for Charles Allan Gordon

September 22, 2010|By DON AINES

A Pennsylvania man who turned himself in six years after being charged with repeatedly ramming a Boonsboro family's vehicle entered guilty pleas Wednesday in Washington County Circuit Court to charges of second-degree assault and driving under the influence as a subsequent offender.

Charles Allan Gordon, 48, of 12740 Molly Pitcher Highway, Lot 34, in Greencastle, Pa., was taken into custody June 26 on a warrant for failing to appear in court that was issued Oct. 14, 2004, according to court documents. Gordon had turned himself in, said Jill Ritter, the State's Attorney's Office's victims' coordinator.

"This is a bizarre case and I think the court would be wise to order a pre-sentence investigation," Judge John H. McDowell said during the hearing.

"It was totally bizarre," said Maurice W. James Jr., the Boonsboro man who was driving the car that was rammed several times by a Chevrolet Tracker driven by Gordon.

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"I was just driving home from the movies on a Friday night in the rain," said James, who was with his wife, Rosemary, and daughter, Maura, when he felt a "tap" on the rear of his car. James said he thought the other driver might not have been paying attention and struck his car by accident on Md. 66, but the vehicular assault continued, he said.

James told the court he passed other cars, ran a red light and flashed his lights as he tried to get away from the other driver. He pulled into a convenience store, but the Tracker chased his car around the gas pumps before fleeing, he said.

James, who was accompanied by his wife and daughter at the plea hearing, told McDowell they had never met Gordon before that night.

Maryland State Police stopped Gordon a short time later as he was turning into the Sheetz parking lot at Md. 66 and U.S. 40, the statement of probable cause said. Gordon told police that the 1994 Oldsmobile driven by James had rammed him from behind first and that he rammed the victim in retaliation, the statement said.

Damage to the vehicles was not consistent with what Gordon told police, the statement of probable cause said.

Maurice James said his family supported the proposed plea agreement and "we also believe people can change if given the opportunity."

"We were heartened by the fact that he did turn himself in," Rosemary James told McDowell.

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