By Rick Hiduk
(Exclusive to EndlessMtnLifestyles.com readers)
A Connecticut man taken into custody after a traffic stop in Wyoming County in mid September has shown a penchant for combative behavior, verbally lashing out at his captors and victims on various occasions and even injuring several prison guards. Last week, he apologized for the trouble he has given authorities, asked for his case to be sent to Connecticut and promised to stay away from Pennsylvania.
George Duggins of Middletown, CT, was arrested on Sept. 19 by Pennsylvania State Police and charged with DUI, making terroristic threats and resisting arrest and placed in the Wyoming County Correctional Facility in lieu of $20,000 bail.
On Sept. 28, while being arraigned at PSP barracks in Tunkhannock Township on unrelated assault charges, Duggins, 40, threatened to kill the victim while spitting in the victim’s direction. He continued to try to spit at the victim even after a “spit sock,” a netted, see-through hood with an elastic neck band, was placed over his head. For this incident, he was charged with two more counts of simple assault.
On Sept. 30, while corrections officers at the jail were preparing Duggins for transfer to Tyler Hospital, he asked for and was granted permission to take a shower. Subsequently, he refused to dry off or get dressed. Sgt. Smith, who was to be assisted with the transport by CO Olive, called for backup.
Duggins began splattering water in the direction of the officers and a computer in the booking room and verbally taunting them. When he would not bring himself under control, the officers moved in and a brawl ensued. In the course of the melee, Duggins punched Sgt. Murach in the face, knocking off his glasses, and then bit off a part of his ear. He also caused injury to Sgt. Warriner’s face and right eye by gouging his fingers into Warriner’s eye socket.
Ptlm. Dustin Cokely filed 12 counts of aggravated assault, eight for simple assault, and six for resisting arrest against Duggins after comparing statements from the officers with video footage from the booking room camera.
On Oct. 8, Cokely returned to the prison at Duggins’ request. After he was advised of his Miranda rights, Duggins confessed to the officer that he was high on PCP at the time of his Sept. 19 arrest and that the effects of the hallucinogenic drug (aka “angel dust”) had lingered in his system. In his recollection of the shower incident and throwing water at the prison guards, he told Cokely that he was afraid of them and told them that they must be “devils” if they were afraid of water.
Duggins said that he was very sorry for what he had done to them, though he could not remember all of the details. While he remembered punching the guards, he did not recall them retaliating nor taking him under control. Cokely informed Duggins that he had bitten off a part of Sgt. Murach’s ear.
Duggins said that he had been using and selling drugs for quite some time to support his family and that he was still “not right” on Sept. 30. He was unable to produce a written statement due to his hand being swollen. In his verbal statement transcribed by Cokely, Duggins said, “I want to take any punishment given and plead guilty even though I was under the influence. I want to have my case transferred to Connecticut and will sign paperwork saying that I will never return to Pennsylvania for 10 or even 20 years.”
Duggins is scheduled for a preliminary hearing at Judge Carl Smith’s office on Oct. 24.