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Wolfeboro man pleads guilty to using bucket loader to remove vehicle

Union Leader Correspondent

September 08. 2018 9:40PM
A Wolfeboro man has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless conduct for using a bucket loader to push this pickup truck on its side down busy Route 16 on Feb. 22. (Bea Lewis/Union Leader Correspondent)

Edward Evans (Bea Lewis/Union Leader Correspondent)

OSSIPEE - A Wolfeboro man has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless conduct for using a bucket loader to push a pickup truck on its side down busy Route 16 on Feb. 22.

Edward Evans, 57, also pleaded guilty to simple assault in connection with the same incident, which authorities characterized as a family dispute that boiled over when Evans used his company's heavy equipment to flip the 2006 Ford F-150 pickup onto its side and push it 1,000 ft. down Route 16 into the parking lot of an auto repair shop.

The truck had been parked at Evans Brothers Construction for months and when it remained there after its owner was told to move it, the defendant became enraged. After Evans argued with his brother's wife, then pushed her, he forcefully moved the disabled truck with the loader.

A passenger in a vehicle who encountered the yellow Caterpillar loader pushing the black pickup truck southbound from Evans' business, at 800 Route 16, recorded the incident on a phone and posted it on Facebook on Feb. 22, the day it occurred. Evans was arrested March 1.

On Friday he was sentenced to 18 months in jail, suspended on the condition of good behavior for one year and fined $620. He was additionally ordered to complete 50 hours of community service and pay at least $8,888.76 in restitution to the owner of the ruined truck. Within the next 30 days he must write a letter of apology to his sister-in-law for pushing her down into an office chair. Evans was further ordered to make arrangements with the probation department to tour the Carroll County House of Corrections.

After imposing the sentence in Carroll County Superior Court, Judge Amy Ignatius offered Evans some unsolicited advice.

"You can't be putting people and property at risk. You've got to have other ways of dealing with things, despite the provocation," she said, warning Evans that if he failed to maintain good behavior for the next year and complete the other terms of his sentence he would spend 18 months in jail.

The final amount of restitution is to be decided within 30 days. If the parties are unable to reach agreement, a hearing will be scheduled.

Assistant Carroll County Attorney Steve Briden told the judge that Evans' conduct potentially placed the lives or safety of others at risk by pushing the toppled truck down a heavily traveled highway encroaching on both lanes while moving at a speed substantially slower than the rest of traffic.

Under the terms of the plea agreement the prosecutor agreed to reduce the reckless conduct charge from a felony punishable by a prison term to a misdemeanor and drop a felony criminal mischief charge, two other misdemeanor simple assault charges and a reckless operation, violation level offense.

Attorney Briden said Evans had several old misdemeanor convictions but nothing that would impact the appropriateness of a negotiated plea. He told the judge that both victims supported the proposed resolution but represented that the Henry DePasquale of Effingham, the owner of the truck remained concerned about restitution.

Courts Crime Effingham Ossipee Wolfeboro