Man faces prison sentence for Hatboro gun incident
NORRISTOWN » A Bucks County man faces time in prison on charges he forced his way into his ex-girlfriend’s Hatboro residence and assaulted her new boyfriend while threatening him with a gun.
Justin Nicholas Spera, 27, of the 1800 block of Brook Lane in the Warwick section of Jamison, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to two to four years in a state correctional facility, to be followed by one year of probation, in connection with a July 2017 incident at a home along Bonair Avenue in Hatboro.
The sentence, imposed by Judge Risa Vetri Ferman, means Spera will be under court supervision for five years. The judge said Spera is eligible for the state’s Quehanna Boot Camp, a military-style, motivational and disciplinary program located in Clearfield County.
Ferman ordered Spera to forfeit his Ruger SP101 firearm to county detectives and to have no contact with his ex-girlfriend or her male friend.
During a three-day trial in April, a jury convicted Spera of charges of burglary, aggravated and simple assault and terroristic threats in connection with the incident.
An investigation began about 4:55 a.m. July 15, 2017, when police responded to a home in the 300 block of Bonair Avenue after a woman called 911 to report Spera, her exboyfriend, had a gun and was in her bedroom and that she was in danger and needed help, according to the arrest affidavit. When police arrived the caller was outside the residence crying and screaming, “He has a gun, he’s going to shoot him,” according to the criminal complaint filed by Hatboro Police Officer John Gibson.
The woman directed police to her bedroom and it was from there that police heard signs of a struggle and a man yelling for help. Gibson forced his way into the bedroom and observed Spera, “on one knee with a firearm in his right hand” pointing the muzzle toward the floor, according to court papers. Gibson ordered Spera to drop the gun three times.
“Mr. Spera did not move and failed to obey my commands to drop the gun. I then ran toward Mr. Spera and kicked the gun out of his hand,” Gibson wrote in the arrest affidavit, adding Spera was then taken into custody and the gun was unloaded and safely secured.
According to the criminal complaint, the male victim told police that Spera was upset that he was now dating Spera’s ex-girlfriend and that Spera had been threatening him. Spera, according to the criminal complaint, arrived at the Hatboro residence and forced his way into the bedroom and pointed the gun at the male victim.
Spera and the male victim struggled as each tried to gain control of the gun. As the pair struggled, Spera struck the victim “with a barrage of upper cuts and head butts” before spitting in his face, according to the arrest affidavit. Police said they observed numerous abrasions on the male victim’s face, arms and shoulder.
When Spera was questioned by police, he admitted to entering the Bonair Avenue residence uninvited, forcing his way into the bedroom with his firearm in his right hand and having his index finger on the trigger, according to the criminal complaint.