Police: Road-rager rammed car, attacked it with sledgehammer

Liz Evans Scolforo

A Cumberland County man intentionally rammed a car several times before taking a sledgehammer to its windows, angry that its driver had honked at him, police allege.

Aaron C.J. Vassar, 24, of 607 Hummel Ave. in Lemoyne, remains in York County Prison on $25,000 bail, charged with two counts of felony aggravated assault and one count of reckless endangerment.

Aaron Vassar

Fairview Township Police said the lengthy road-rage incident started on Hartzdale Drive near the Capital City Mall outside Camp Hill on Sunday evening.

Vassar was sitting in his Honda Civic at a red light and apparently failed to move when it turned green, according to charging documents. Mitchell Bumgardner, 24, of the Etters area, was in his Nissan Maxima behind Vassar and honked his horn, police said.

Bumgardner then realized Vassar was following him south on Interstate 83, police said.

Object thrown: Vassar followed Bumgardner off I-83 at the Fishing Creek exit, at which point he pulled alongside Bumgardner's car and threw an unidentified object at it, charging documents state.

Bumgardner followed Vassar's car south of Fishing Creek Road to get his license plate number, according to police, but Vassar "slammed on the brakes," causing Bumgardner's car to rear-end the Civic, documents allege.

After getting the Civic's plate number, Bumgardner tried to get away from him and told an officer he "did not feel safe talking with Vassar considering the circumstances thus far," documents state.

Vassar started chasing Bumgardner again, this time onto Woodburne Road, according to police.

Car rammed: As Bumgardner was trying to call 911, Vassar rammed his car on the driver's side door, then backed up and rammed Bumgardner's car two more times, charging documents allege.

Frightened, Bumgardner crawled over his center console and fled out the front passenger door, police said.

That's when Vassar used a large sledgehammer to smash the windows of Bumgardner's car before raising the hammer at Bumgardner, who fled to a nearby home, where 911 was called, documents state. The call came in about 6:30 p.m., police said.

By the time an officer arrived, the two men had calmed down and were trying to reattach the front bumper of Vassar's Civic, documents state.

Officers noticed the interior of Vassar's car smelled strongly of marijuana and found suspected pot seeds and stems inside, according to police.

Vassar was arrested at the scene and taken to York Hospital before prison to be checked for wrist pain and to have blood drawn for testing, police said.

His Harrisburg-based attorney, Alan Ross, did not return a phone message seeking comment.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.