July 14 – A Bolivar man was convicted of attempted homicide for attempting to abduct a jogger at gunpoint in January in Ligonier township, officials said.
Westmoreland County jurors found Frank Springer, 56, guilty of all charges against him, including attempted kidnapping, unlawful restraint, two counts of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and simple assault.
The jury deliberated for four hours before reaching its verdict, Westmoreland County District Attorney Nicole Ziccarelli said in a statement to media.
The testimony ended after the jury heard from witnesses to the attempted kidnapping and the woman herself, who was able to fight Springer until two good Samaritans came to her aid, Ziccarelli said.
“The bravery, strength and will that this young woman showed not only to fight her attacker, but also to testify in court, speaks volumes about her character,” Ziccarelli said.
The woman, a Westmoreland County college student, had been out for a run in the Rector area on Jan. 8 when Springer stopped her car and attempted to force her into his vehicle, police said at the time.
Officials said he pulled out a gun and fired multiple times – and at one point threw the woman’s phone into a stream.
But she continued to resist his efforts, including with “physical force”, buying her time until a passing couple spotted the incident, Ziccarelli said.
Jurors were told the couple intervened and helped save the woman, Ziccarelli added.
“We are extremely pleased with the jury’s verdict, and we hope this sentencing brings some peace and closure to the victim so she can continue to be successful in her life,” Ziccarelli said.
Westmoreland County Assistant District Attorney Leo Ciaramitaro prosecuted the case. Defense attorney Tim Andrews represented Springer.
Online court records did not list a sentencing date for Springer. Ziccarelli said sentencing will come within 90 days under Pennsylvania law.