Eric Dennis Tereo
Eric Dennis Tereo

With his attorney at his side, a man wanted for the alleged assault of a 76-year-old man at a Stewartstown gas station last year turned himself into authorities on Wednesday.

Attorney Shane Kope said his client, Eric Dennis Tereo, 28, didn't know he was a suspect in the Nov. 19 assault until Southern Regional Police identified him in the media on Friday.

"As soon as he found out about it he called me," Kope said.

Tereo, who has addresses in York Township and Delta, turned himself in at district judge John Olwert's office, where he was arraigned on charges of simple assault, disorderly conduct and harassment, according to court records.

He is free on $10,000 bail, the records state.

Kope said the alleged incident happened because Tereo was coming to the defense of two woman.

Allegations: Tereo is accused of assaulting Carl Johnson of Hopewell Township at a Sunoco station at 62 N. Main St. on Nov. 19, police had said.

Johnson, who is retired from a Maryland fire service, told police he saw a woman smoking a cigarette as she was pumping gas and told her to put out the cigarette because of safety concerns. She refused and a confrontation ensued, police had said.

That's when Tereo walked out of the gas station, saw the confrontation and injected himself into it by pushing Johnson to the ground and kicking or punching him, police alleged.

Police said Johnson suffered a broken rib, head injury, contusion to chest and hip, and that Tereo spit in his face.

Calling Tereo's actions the "defense of others," Kope said his client got involved in the incident because he believed Johnson was about to strike the woman and a female gas station attendant, who also became involved.

After the incident, Johnson left the gas station and was seen walking to area businesses, Kope said, adding Johnson sought medical treatment some time later.

Tereo, who didn't know Johnson was hurt, stayed at the gas station for some time talking to the attendant, Kope said.

"When it all comes out ... it will show his (Tereo's) actions were to protect two woman," Kope said.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.