Charges refiled on trucker in York City assault

Liz Evans Scolforo

Charges have been refiled against an out-of-state truck driver who had his felony assault case dropped because his alleged victim missed two preliminary hearings.

Police now say that's because the trucker, Robert Michael Crowe, kept the woman with him as he drove to Indiana and then to California, taking her cellphone from her any time he left her alone and telling her not to contact anyone, according to charging documents filed by York County Detective Dana Ward.

"(She) was scared of Crowe and did what she was told," Ward wrote in those documents.

Robert Crowe

Because of that, his charges of aggravated assault, simple assault and making terroristic threats have been reinstated and prosecutors have added two first-degree felony counts of witness intimidation, charging documents state.

Members of the U.S. Marshals Service's Fugitive Task Force arrested Crowe on Friday in San Jose, California, according to a marshals service news release. He is awaiting extradition back to York County.

The allegations: York City Police arrested Crowe, 37, of no fixed address, at York Hospital the night of April 12 after he allegedly assaulted his girlfriend at the Yorktowne Hotel.

"Crowe began beating (her) with a closed fist about her face and head while threatening to kill her," charging documents state. "He strangled her with his hands until she lost consciousness, which resulted in her losing control of her bladder."

The woman managed to leave the room after regaining consciousness, and a witness was able to keep Crowe away from her long enough for her to surreptitiously call 911, documents state.

Realizing she needed medical attention, the woman then convinced Crowe to take her to York Hospital by telling him she would lie to hospital workers and say she "fell down some steps," according to documents.

The woman suffered severe injuries, including a deep cut above her eye as well as other injuries to her face, head and neck, documents state.

Arrested at hospital: York City Police responded to the hospital and arrested Crowe for the alleged assault. They also charged him with driving under the influence because his speech was slurred, his eyes were bloodshot and he smelled of alcohol, according to police. Crowe refused to submit to a blood-alcohol test, charging documents state.

Crowe posted bail and returned to California with the woman, police said. That's when he allegedly kept her phone from her when he wasn't around and told her not to contact anyone, documents allege.

Crowe brought the woman back to York City with him for his May 12 preliminary hearing before District Judge Ron Haskell Jr., but Crowe "made her hide in his truck" during the hearing, according to documents. Haskell rescheduled the hearing when the woman didn't show up to testify.

The York County District Attorney's Office called the woman a number of times and left messages for her, but she later said she didn't receive them in time for the hearing, documents state.

Charges dropped: Crowe was able to "attend" his June 7 hearing via FaceTime from out of state, and he waived his DUI charge to court, police said. But all charges for the alleged assault were dropped because the alleged victim again failed to show, police said.

At some point, the woman "was able to escape Crowe," running to Florida and then another state, police said. That's when she realized the DA's office was trying to reach her, and she called them back.

York County officials had her flown to York County, where she was interviewed by Detective Ward on Sept. 7, documents state.

Based on that interview, Ward refiled the assault charges and added the witness intimidation charges, according to documents.

Defense attorney Jay Whittle, who represented Crowe for the hearings, declined comment Friday.

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