HONESDALE- A man using a Japanese Sai sword to strike vehicles and assault another person, was convicted Jan. 23 by a Wayne County jury.
James Mihalis, age 54 of Honesdale, was found guilty of Aggravated Assault With a Deadly Weapon, a felony of the 2nd degree, Simple Assault, a misdemeanor of the 2nd degree and Recklessly Endangering Another Person, also a misdemeanor of the 2nd degree. The fury deliberated for approximately 30 minutes before a guilty finding was returned on all charges.
After the verdict Judge Raymond L. Hamill revoked the defendant’s bail and remanded him to the Wayne County Prison pending his April 18, 2013 sentencing date.
The incident which gave rise to the charges occurred on June 29, 2012, in Berlin Township. The defendant was walking his dog down the middle of Dunn Road in the area of Slish Road. The defendant was striking passing vehicles with a Japanese Sai, a metal martial arts weapon. The driver of one of the damaged vehicles stopped to inquire why the defendant struck his vehicle. At that time the defendant struck the victim in the head with the weapon.
The case was investigated by Pennsylvania State Troopers Brian Rickard and Terrance Branning. First Assistant District Attorney Patrick L. Robinson prosecuted the case.
District Attorney Janine Edwards stated that she was gratified by the jury’s verdict. "This verdict sends a strong message that the citizens of Wayne County are not going to tolerate this kind of outrageous conduct."