Fredericktown man sentenced to prison for dragging state trooper
A Fredericktown man accused of dragging a state trooper roughly 20 feet with his truck was sentenced to 16 to 60 months in prison Friday.
Arnold J. Frankie, 63, of Barney’s Run Road, was found guilty of misdemeanor charges of simple assault, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and fleeing or attempting to elude the police, as well as obedience to authorized persons directing traffic, careless driving and reckless driving after a two-day jury trial in February before Washington County Common Pleas Judge Valarie Costanzo.
The jury found Frankie not guilty of four felony aggravated assault charges.
Frankie was accused of dragging Trooper Heather Gonglik after he failed to obey numerous hand and verbal signals directing him to stop. Gonglik was directing traffic at the scene of a crash in Bentleyville in April 2013.
During Frankie’s sentencing hearing, Gonglik and her husband, Trooper Mark Gonglik, addressed the court about the negative impact the incident has had on their family. Gonglik suffers daily from headaches and pain. She has undergone several injections in her back to help manage the pain and is recovering from a recent surgery.
The couple testified that Heather Gonglik will never be pain-free and could possibly be placed on permanent limited duty.
“You have sentenced me to a life of pain,” Heather Gonglik said.
The couple testified that the their young daughters have since become fearful whenever they leave for work, and that Heather’s interactions with her children are limited.
“It crushes me when they ask (Heather) to play with them or pick them up,” Mark Gonglik said. “It’s hard to explain to them that Mommy just can’t.”
Frankie’s criminal history was also brought up during the hearing. Over the years, Frankie has been cited for several traffic violations. In 1976, he was arrested for resisting arrest when he attacked an officer attempting to serve a warrant, and again in 1994, when he threw a partially burning tire at an officer and shoved another.
The couple also testified that Frankie has never apologized to them, citing several instances where he had the opportunity. The couple also expressed their outrage at the argument of Frankie’s attorney, Noah Geary, that Heather Gonglik caused her own injuries.
“You shoved me until I fell off,” she said. “I have kids to think about. I signed up for this job, but I don’t intentionally put myself in harm’s way.”
Frankie was given an opportunity to address the court and briefly apologized – an apology Costanzo said “wasn’t genuine.”
“You have no remorse for your actions,” she said before sentencing him.
Geary asked the judge to sentence his client to probation or an extended period of electronic home monitoring, stating he was in poor health after having surgery at the beginning of this month. While Costanzo said she took Frankie’s health into consideration, his prior actions were “troubling.”
Frankie was taken into custody following the hearing, and will be placed at the State Corrrectional Institution-Pittsburgh until he is permanently placed in one of the state’s correctional facilities. He was free on bond pending the sentencing hearing.