Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sentence upheld for man convicted of assault

April 03. 2014 11:10PM

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A Hazleton man convicted in the gang assault of an off-duty police officer will likely serve his full six- to 12-year state prison sentence.

The state Superior Court on Wednesday denied a request by Ricardo Sanchez, 25, to have his sentence reduced in an attempt at early parole and deportation to his native county, the Dominican Republic.

Sanchez was convicted by a Luzerne County jury on Sept. 2, 2011, of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, simple assault, harassment and disorderly conduct in the beating of Michael Colasurdo on May 16, 2010.

Sanchez was acquitted on a criminal conspiracy charge.

According to the criminal complaint:

Colasurdo, a Hazleton police officer, was off duty at the time and out with friends at Two Guys Pizzeria.

As Colasurdo and his friends left the pizzeria, a vehicle blocked them in the parking lot. A party was being held next door and someone yelled out who owned the vehicle blocking the lot.

Sanchez, who attended the party, began punching and beating Colasurdo.

Colasurdo suffered serious facial and torso injuries that required surgery. He was out of work for about three months.

A police report says Sanchez, known as Topy, is a Trinitario gang member and the assault upon Colasurdo was gang related.

County Judge Tina Polachek Gartley sentenced Sanchez to six to 12 years in state prison.

He appealed the sentence, arguing he should have been sentenced to three and a half to five years.

But the Superior Court affirmed the sentence, saying Gartley took into consideration Sanchez’s lack of remorse, the nature of the violent offense and his lengthy criminal history.

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