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Retribution for burglary may have led to assault

Posted: Friday, October 08, 2004

A 20-year-old man accused of damaging a van and injuring its driver in a Wednesday night confrontation thought the victim burglarized his residence, a state prosecutor said Thursday.

Eric John Pokorny, 20, appeared in Juneau District Court on Thursday on felony charges of third-degree assault and third-degree criminal mischief. Judge Peter B. Froehlich did not ask him to enter a plea

Froehlich told him he could face up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine for each charge.

The charges allege Pokorny used a golf club or ice scraper to damage a 1988 Ford Aerostar van, shattering the driver's-side window and injuring the driver, a 20-year-old Juneau resident.

Assistant District Attorney Jack Schmidt said the police investigation concluded Pokorny sought out the victim. Pokorny believed the man burglarized his residence the night before the confrontation.

Schmidt said the allegation is under investigation, but there was no evidence to substantiate it.

Police Sgt. Ed Mercer said dispatchers received a call at 9:53 p.m. Wednesday. In a parking lot near the airport, a man was hitting the side of a van with what appeared to be a metal baseball bat.

A few minutes later, a second call reported a similar incident in the Valley. A man had shattered a van window with what appeared to be a golf club.

Officers located the van and found the driver bleeding from several minor cuts to his head. Capital City Fire and Rescue took the man to Bartlett Regional Hospital, where he was treated and released, according to police reports.

Interviews with the victim and three witnesses in the van led the police to arrest Pokorny at a Valley residence. He was lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

Pokorny said he has no income. Froehlich set bail at $500, but required a signature-appearance bond of $2,500 for his pretrial release. That would require him to pay $2,500 if he doesn't appear for his court hearings.

• Tony Carroll can be reached at tony.carroll@juneauempire.com.



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