Man gets one year for ramming into ATV rider
— 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
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.