Man faces prison sen­tence for Hatboro gun in­ci­dent

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - NEWS - By Carl Hessler Jr. chessler@21st-cen­tu­ry­media. com @Mont­coCourtNews on Twit­ter

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.

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