Man gets one year for ram­ming into ATV rider

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By CARL HAMIL­TON

ca­hamil­ton@ce­cil­whig.com

— A North Eastarea man re­ceived a oneyear jail term Mon­day for de­lib­er­ately ram­ming his sport util­ity ve­hi­cle into the back of a mov­ing all- ter­rain ve­hi­cle, knock­ing the ATV into a tree and in­jur­ing its op­er­a­tor.

Ce­cil County Cir­cuit Court Ad­min­is­tra­tive Judge Keith A. Baynes im­posed a 10-year sen­tence on the de­fen­dant, John Michael Casto, 62, and then sus­pended nine years of it, as part of a bind­ing plea agree­ment in which Casto pleaded guilty to first-de­gree as­sault.

Baynes or­dered Casto to

ELK­TON

serve three years of su­per­vised pro­ba­tion after com­plet­ing his one-year term, which he will start serv­ing July 18 in the Ce­cil County De­ten­tion Cen­ter. Casto, who re­ceived credit for nine days that he had served in jail after his ar­rest, will be el­i­gi­ble for the work re­lease program.

Casto’s pro­ba­tion con­di­tions in­clude sub­stance abuse and men­tal health eval­u­a­tions, coun­sel­ing and treat­ment. He also must sub­mit to ran­dom uri­nal­y­sis. In ad­di­tion, Casto must have no con­tact with the vic­tim.

The in­ci­dent oc­curred on Nov. 25, 2014, near Casto’s res­i­dence in the 500 block of Red Point Road, south of North East, and it started when Casto saw one of his neigh­bors rid­ing an ATV in that area, ac­cord­ing to As­sis­tant State’s At­tor­ney Robert Sent­man.

Mis­tak­enly be­liev­ing that the ATV rider had shot and killed his dogs — which were ac­tu­ally at the SCPA — Casto pur­sued that per­son in his Ford SUV, he said. At one point, Casto drove along­side the of­froad ATV and yelled for the op­er­a­tor to stop, Sent­man added.

When the ATV op­er­a­tor con­tin­ued to ride, Casto rammed the recre­ational ve­hi­cle from be­hind, caus­ing the vic­tim to lose con­trol of his ATV, which crashed into a tree, ac­cord­ing to Sent­man.

The ATV op­er­a­tor suf- fered a “gash on his fore­head” and back in­juries, which re­quired med­i­cal treat­ment, Sent­man re­ported. The crash also de­stroyed the ATV, ac­cord­ing to Sent­man.

Baynes also or­dered Casto to pay $11,315 in resti­tu­tion to the vic­tim, mostly to cover the dam­age to his ATV, as well as to cover some hos­pi­tal bills, prose­cu­tors re­ported.

At the time of this Novem­ber 2014 in­ci­dent, Casto was on su­per­vised pro­ba­tion in a 2012 crim­i­nal case, one in which Casto also lashed out at some­one — he fired warn­ing shots — also after mis­in­ter­pret­ing a sit­u­a­tion.

In July 2013, Ce­cil County Cir­cuit Court Judge V. Michael Whe­lan im­posed a three-year sen­tence on Casto and sus­pended all but 30 days of it in that case, after Casto had pleaded guilty to se­cond-de­gree as­sault. Whe­lan also or­dered Casto to serve three years of su­per­vised pro­ba­tion after com­plet­ing his 30-day term, which Casto served in the county jail.

That in­ci­dent oc­curred on Oct. 27, 2012, when Casto walked out of his Red Point Road res­i­dence and con­fronted a Miss Util­ity worker, who was spray-paint­ing the ground to mark safe ar­eas where Ver­i­zon em­ploy­ees could later dig to in­stall phone lines, po­lice said.

Casto asked, “What the hell are you do­ing?” and after the em­ployee ex­plained, Casto grew more irate and ac­cused the util­ity worker of try­ing to take his land, po­lice added.

After walk­ing into his house, Casto re­turned to the util­ity worker mo­ments later, called him a liar and then fired a warn­ing shot with a hand­gun, po­lice re­ported. The util­ity worker got into his ser­vice truck, drove away and called au­thor­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

A Ce­cil County Sher­iff’s Of­fice deputy ar­rested Casto at the scene mo­ments later.

With this new first-de­gree as­sault con­vic­tion on his record, Casto now faces a vi­o­la­tion-of-pro­ba­tion hear­ing in the 2012 crim­i­nal case. The judge had sus­pended 35 months of his sen­tence in that case.

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