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York County man sentenced, other case continued in Pa. game warden incident

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
Wade Winemiller is accused, along with fellow ATV rider Thomas Kelly Jr., of attacking a PA Game Commission game warden and stealing his gun, according to state police.

One of the two York County men accused of attacking a Pennsylvania game warden in Schuylkill County last year has been sentenced to jail.

Schuylkill County Common Pleas Judge William E. Baldwin on Monday, Dec. 16, sentenced Wade Michael Winemiller, 58, of Lower Windsor Township, to two to 23 months in county jail on charges of simple assault and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors.

Thomas Earl Kelly Jr., 58, of Hopewell Township, had his sentence continued. It was unclear why that happened. 

At the men's consolidated trial in October, Kelly was found guilty of resisting arrest and the summary offenses of harassment and disorderly conduct.

The men were acquitted on two counts each of aggravated assault and one count each of disarming a law enforcement officer, all of which are felonies.

More:Two York County men acquitted of disarming PA game warden

Background: On Dec. 1, 2018, the men were riding ATVs in the woods when they came across Pennsylvania Game Commission Deputy Warden David Fidler, according to court documents.

Instead of stopping, the men took off on the orange and black ATVs, leaving the trail, troopers said. But one rolled his ATV going up a mountain, and the other stalled his out, police said.

Fidler tried to detain Winemiller and Kelly, but the men would not cooperate, court documents state.

Warden pulled gun: The game warden initially pulled out his duty handgun after Kelly made a fist and cocked back his arm, but Fidler then put away his gun and started examining one of the ATVs, according to court documents.

Fidler sprayed Kelly in the face with pepper spray after Kelly allegedly punched or tried to punch him, according to state police.

Winemiller and Kelly then started chasing Fidler, who again unholstered his gun, documents state.

Kelly grabbed the game warden's arm and pushed it downward, at which point he and the game warden began struggling as the warden fell to his knees, according to charging documents.

Both Kelly and Winemiller grabbed Fidler's service weapon as Fidler was on the ground, hunched over in an attempt to keep the firearm near his body, police alleged.

"Fidler then turned his firearm's muzzle to his left side, where (Kelly) was ... and discharged one round," but it went into the ground, court documents state.

Punched in head: Winemiller then punched Fidler in the head, police said. He then grabbed the gun out of the game warden's hands and started to back up, documents state.

"It's over, throw the gun in the woods," Fidler told him, according to police. Winemiller then told the game warden he could "pick up the gun at the next intersection by the creek," documents state.

Kelly was yelling for his ATV key, which Fidler had, police said. Fidler pulled the key out of his pocket and gave it to Kelly, after which both Winemiller and Kelly fled the area, documents state.

Fidler was taken by ambulance to a local hospital and treated for injuries he suffered, police said.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.