Home Fire News Man attacks firefighters with a car, bites deputy while being arrested

Man attacks firefighters with a car, bites deputy while being arrested

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Tony Rhodin

The Express-Times

A 50-year-old man faces two counts of aggravated assault after running down a firefighter Thursday afternoon at a Williams Township crash scene and then biting the Pennsylvania State trooper who tried to arrest him after he fled, authorities said.

It was the man’s second alleged instance that day of an aggravated assault attempt involving what court papers call “designated individuals” — which usually refers to authority figures such as police.

The Williams Township incident began about 2:30 p.m. near Berger and Morvale roads, Trooper Nathan Branosky said. Berger Road was closed by a crash but Melvin Woodson Jr., of the Quakertown area, was driving west and cut over to the east side of the road to get past the stopped traffic, Branosky said. Woodson was stopped by a Williams Township firefighter about 20 feet from the crash at the intersection but then drove off, striking the firefighters, who fell to the ground, court papers say. Someone yelled “he’s coming back” and the firefighter had to roll out of the way to avoid being run over, court papers say.

The firefighter suffered minor injuries and was treated at an area hospital, court papers say.

Woodson hit an unoccupied state police vehicle as he drove from the scene, Branosky said.

The car Woodson was driving broke down on Morgan Hill Road near Morvale, which a neighbor reported, and Woodson got out and began to walk away, Branosky said. State troopers tried to take Woodson into custody near Clubhouse Drive but Woodson fought with them, Branosky said. They used Tasers on Woodson, but that didn’t subdue him, police said. Citing court papers, arraigning Judge Douglas Schlegel said police allege Woodson then bit a trooper on both hands. The skin was broken and the trooper required medical attention, court papers say.

Schlegel said Bucks County authorities put a detainer on Woodson if he were to make the $50,000 bail the judge set during the overnight arraignment in the Williams Township case.

Woodson is being housed in Northampton County Prison and will tentatively face a preliminary hearing Dec. 1 in District Judge Daniel Corpora’s court on charges in the Williams Township case of aggravated assault, aggravated assault on designated individuals, simple assault (two counts), resisting arrest, leaving the scene of a crash where there were injuries and various lesser driving and drug offenses, Schlegel confirmed.

Township fire Chief Jeff Murray said the firefighter, who was directing traffic and wearing a reflective vest, was quickly released from the hospital and outside of being a bit sore, is fine.

“He was lucky,” Murray said. “He was fortunate he was paying attention.”

Easton police assisted at the arrest scene, Branosky said.

Paperwork out of District Judge Lisa J. Gaier’s court in Bucks County shows Quakertown police on Thursday also charged Woodson with attempted aggravated assault on designated individuals (two counts), fleeing or eluding a police officer (two counts), recklessly endangering another person (three counts) and three summary driving offenses. Woodson has yet to be arraigned on those charges, records indicate.

Branosky reminds all drivers that especially with the holidays arriving to pay attention to first responders and signs warning of the need to be cautious or to stop.

©2021 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit lehighvalleylive.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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