PLYMOUTH — A convicted sex offender was arrested on charges he intentionally drove his vehicle toward a group of people, striking a man who was seriously injured on East Main Street early Friday.
Borough police arrested Kenneth Hunter Jr., 39, pretending to be asleep at a residence on Jackson Street, Edwardsville, shortly after he allegedly struck Wayne Coine, 19, just before 1 a.m.
Coine was with other people on foot chasing a vehicle Hunter was driving, police said.
Police allege Hunter wouldn’t let his girlfriend, Anna Maria Maslowski, out of the vehicle that was being chased by her friends, including Coine.
When Hunter suddenly stopped and Maslowski jumped out, police allege Hunter turned around and accelerated the vehicle toward Maslowski’s friends, striking Coine and fleeing the scene.
Police said they found the vehicle with a tarp covering the windshield parked behind the Jackson Street residence where Hunter was arrested. When the tarp was removed, police said the windshield was smashed and suspected blood and skin was found.
Officers later learned a tenant at the Jackson Street house used a vacuum to clean up broken glass in the car and covered the windshield with a tarp.
Maslowski told police she was with Hunter in Nanticoke celebrating her birthday. As Hunter was driving her home, she claimed Hunter screamed at her and drove recklessly, police said.
Maslowski yelled at Hunter about the way he was driving. When they approached her residence, Maslowski said her friends began chasing the vehicle.
Police said Maslowski reported Hunter suddenly stopped and she jumped out. Hunter allegedly turned the vehicle around and accelerated at Maslowski’s friends when Coine was struck.
Coine was transported to an area hospital after suffering serious injuries.
Hunter was arraigned by District Judge Donald Whittaker in Nanticoke on charges of aggravated assault by vehicle, accidents involving death or personal injury, driving with a suspended license, careless driving, reckless driving and failure to stop and render aid. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $100,000 bail.
Court records say Hunter, then 20, pleaded guilty in September 1999 to statutory sexual assault and aggravated indecent assault for repeatedly having consensual sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl in Salem Township in 1998. He was sentenced to 10 to 23 months in prison and is listed on the state police Megan’s Law website as a sexual offender.