Man sent to prison after punching Washington police officer

By Ashley Bunton -

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A Washington Court House man was sent to prison Monday for one year after he admitted to punching a police officer.

Fifty-nine-year-old Joseph E. Lyons appeared in the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas for final sentencing orders on charges of assault, a fourth-degree felony, obstructing official business, a fifth-degree felony, and violation of a protection order, a misdemeanor of the fifth degree.

Judge Steven Beathard ordered Lyons to serve one year in prison.

Lyons appeared in court Dec. 4 on the charges but told the court the offense wasn’t an assault. After reviewing the facts of the case in front of the judge with the prosecutor, Lyons admitted to the crime and re-appeared in court Dec. 12 and entered a guilty plea.

Fayette County Assistant Prosecutor John Scott said a prison sentence is presumptive in the case because Lyons has a prior felony conviction for assault in 1981.

Court records also indicate Lyons had prior convictions in the Washington Municipal Court for various misdemeanor offenses, including domestic violence, assault, disorderly by intoxication, criminal trespass, and aggravated menacing.

Lyons admitted to swinging at a Washington Court House police officer who was attempting to place him under arrest Sept. 22 for violating a protection order. Lyons reportedly punched the officer in the throat area.

A victim had called police to 511 E. Temple St. over the protection order violation. Police found Lyons sitting inside, but when they asked him to stand up, he refused.

Reports said the officers used pepper foam in an effort to gain complete compliance. Lyons continued to fight and once on the ground, refused to give up his right hand and place it behind his back, at which time an officer administered a taser to Lyons’s lower back, which had the desired effect, reports said.

In court Dec. 12, Beathard asked Lyons how it felt to be tased. Lyons said, “Not too good, it was a rush,” then told the judge he had used a taser on himself before and that it “gets your heart rate up.”

Also during the Dec. 12 plea hearing, at the request of the state, the court moved to dismiss a second case filed against Lyons for domestic violence because the victim no longer wished to pursue the case, Scott said.

Lyons was credited with 87 days of jail time credit served on the charges locally in the Fayette County Jail and was held in custody of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office before being transported to prison.

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By Ashley Bunton

Contact Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or connect on Twitter by searching for @ashbunton

Contact Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or connect on Twitter by searching for @ashbunton