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Charges held against Butler school board member accused of pointing gun at vehicle

Phil Heasley

CHICORA — A Butler Area School District board member accused of brandishing a gun during a road rage incident saw related charges held for court during a preliminary hearing Tuesday, April 2.

Phillip C. Heasley, 33, was charged in January with misdemeanor simple assault and summaries harassment and disorderly conduct in relation to the Dec. 27 alleged incident at the intersection of Mercer and Duffy Roads in Center Township. He previously stated the incident was a “self-defense situation.”

Heasley appeared before District Judge Lewis Stoughton and heard testimony from Curtis and Sharon Blakley, who reported the incident to police.

Two days after Heasley’s charges were filed, Curtis Blakley was accused of approaching the driver’s side of Heasley’s truck while yelling and punching the rear view mirror during the incident.

Curtis Blakley was charged with summary offenses harassment and disorderly conduct. He pleaded guilty to both charges Tuesday, which will result in fines.

During the hearing on Heasley’s case, Curtis Blakley said he and Sharon Blakley had just turned their vehicle onto Duffy Road when a white truck came up behind them. Curtis Blakley said the truck driver was following them closely, making Sharon Blakley nervous as she drove.

“My husband said, ‘Boy, that thing is coming awful fast,’” Sharon Blakley said.

“When she stopped at the stop sign (at Mercer Road), I got out of the car and asked the defendant what his problem was because he was upsetting my wife,” Curtis Blakley said.

Shortly after Curtis Blakley exited the vehicle, Sharon Blakley followed.

“I wanted to get him back in,” she said.

Curtis Blakley said the truck driver, later identified as Heasley, then brandished a gun.

“I started yelling at him,” Curtis Blakley said. “He had the gun out the window pointed right at her head.”

According to Sharon Blakley, she did not notice the gun until she was directly next to Heasley’s driver’s side window, and quickly continued walking to the rear of the truck to get the license plate.

“This all happened within like a minute,” Sharon said.

Meanwhile, Curtis Blakley said he approached Heasley.

“I didn’t come up to the window until he pointed the gun at my wife,” he said.

Sharon Blakley said she remembers hearing the two men arguing back and forth, but not what was said, as she was trying to call 911 and get the truck’s license plate.

Curtis and Sharon Blakley both testified that Heasley then drove around their vehicle and turned left onto Mercer Road toward Route 8. According to Curtis Blakley, Heasley’s driver’s side mirror hit him as it pulled away.

Charles A. Pascal Jr., defense attorney, asked Sharon Blakley specifically about the placement of the gun during the incident. She said she only noticed the gun when she was directly next to Heasley’s window.

Erica Jamieson testified Heasley returned to his home following the incident. Trooper John Stutz said Jamieson was able to present the pistol involved in the alleged incident to state police.

Stoughton held all charges over for the Court of Common Pleas.

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