Plea deal for flagger after punch kills a man
It started as an argument over traffic cones between two men. A single punch was thrown causing one of the men to fall backward, hitting his head on the street.
That man, 41-year-old Desmond Joseph of Northeast Washington, died of his injuries. And Friday his assailant, Paul Hagans Jr. of Waldorf, pleaded guilty in D.C. Superior Court to involuntary manslaughter in Joseph’s death. As part of the plea deal, Hagans faces five years in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 8.
According to prosecutors, the two men got into an argument around 3:40 p.m. on March 2, when Hagans, 37, was working as a construction flagger in the 200 block of Rhode Island Avenue NE. Joseph, while driving his truck, approached Hagans in an effort to get to a building where he worked. Joseph then got out of his truck and moved a traffic cone so his truck could pass.
Witnesses told authorities that Hagans confronted Joseph about moving the cone. Hagans then punched Joseph in the head, causing Joseph to fall backward and strike his head on the street. Joseph, who was unarmed, suffered a hematoma and later died.