Fredericktown man accused of hitting trooper with truck

April 4, 2013
Arnold Frankie

A Fredericktown man was arrested Wednesday night after he allegedly hit a state trooper directing traffic at a crash scene with his pickup truck and dragged her about 20 feet.

Arnold Joseph Frankie, 62, of 165 Barney’s Run Road, is accused of striking Trooper Heather Gonglik with his truck at the scene of a crash in the 600 block of Main Street in Bentleyville about 6 p.m.

Frankie was driving south when he was told to stop his vehicle by Gonglik, who was handling traffic duty at the crash scene. Gonglik was near her marked cruiser with the overhead emergency lights activated.

Frankie reportedly ignored Gonglik’s orders to stop. The trooper said she had to partially step in front of his truck as she continued to use hand signals and tell him to stop.

Police said Frankie stopped his vehicle, and Gonglik approached. Gonglik started to talk with Frankie, who then began to pull away. Gonglik told him to stop, but Frankie reportedly ignored the commands and started to speed off. As he accelerated, police said he dragged Gonglik with his truck for about 20 feet. She then fell, hitting her head on the road.

Frankie fled south on Main, police said. Gonglik got back into her cruiser and pursued Frankie, catching up with him about a half-mile from the crash scene.

Gonglik was taken to Monongahela Valley Hospital for treatment of minor to moderate injuries and released.

Frankie was arraigned before District Judge Joshua Kanalis on three counts of aggravated assault and one count each of simple assault, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, fleeing or attempting to elude police, obedience to authorized persons directing traffic, reckless driving and careless driving. He was placed in the Washington County jail on $150,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is set for April 12 before District Judge Curtis Thompson.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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