Pennsylvania man sentences for assault, poaching

Rusty Stephen Garlock, 25, of Three Springs, Pa., was sentenced recently in Huntingdon County court after pleading to charges stemming from an assault on Wildlife Conservation Officer Richard Macklem II as he attempted to stop Garlock’s vehicle during a poaching incident in 2016, the Pennsylvania Game Commission said in a news release Wednesday, Oct. 18.

Huntingdon County President Judge George Zanic sentenced Garlock to serve 18 months to three years in a State Correctional Institution for the felony count of aggravated assault on a law-enforcement officer.

Garlock also was fined $2,000 and ordered to pay the costs of prosecution.

For the felony count of criminal mischief, Garlock was sentenced to seven years of probation, to be served consecutive to his confinement. He was fined $250 and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $6,624.35 for the damage caused to the WCO’s patrol vehicle.

On the last two summary counts of unlawful killing or taking big game, and resisting or interfering with an officer, Garlock was ordered to pay additional fines totaling $2,000.

Responding to information about deer-poaching along Mathews Bridge Road in southern Huntingdon County, Macklem noticed a spotlight coming from a truck, followed by a gunshot. He closed in on the truck to investigate.

After stopping his patrol vehicle near the truck, the officer activated his emergency lights and cast a spotlight on the vehicle. At that moment, the truck’s driver apparently engaged the vehicle’s high-beam headlights in an effort to impede the officer’s vision.

Then, the truck suddenly lunged toward the patrol vehicle, striking it in the front left fender and damaging the passenger side. After pushing past the patrol vehicle, the truck fled the area.

Bedford County WCO Brandon Pfister’s subsequent investigation of the incident concluded that Garlock was operating the truck that struck Macklem’s patrol vehicle and that Garlock had used the truck spotlight to illegally kill a deer.

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