Police: Man drove 100 miles with assault victim in trunk

Attempted homicide suspect jailed on $1M bail

BETHEL TWP., Pa. - One man is behind bars and another is in the hospital after a bizarre case of attempted homicide that began in northeastern Pennsylvania and ended near the border between Berks and Lebanon counties.

It all began late Friday morning with the victim attempting to be a good Samaritan and offering the suspect, identified as Bradley John Butler, a ride to his home in Scranton, according to Pennsylvania State Police investigators with Reading-based Troop L, who revealed details of the case on Monday.

Upon approaching Butler's home, the suspect, with an active warrant for his arrest on a retail theft charge, became nervous when he saw officers and had the good Samaritan drive him to a remote area, police said.

Butler, 42, then physically assaulted the 64-year-old victim inside his car before forcing him into the backseat and getting behind the wheel himself, police said.

After being involved in a hit-and-run crash involving a white construction van somewhere in Luzerne County, Butler pulled over and forced the victim out of his car, police said.

Butler then "brutally assaulted" the victim until he became unconscious, placed him in the trunk of his car, and drove 100 miles until the car became disabled Friday afternoon on Interstate 78 in Lebanon County, police said.

Butler, police said, then made two phone calls -- one to have the victim's car towed and the other to state police to report the incident.

The victim, whose name has not been released, was found in the trunk, suffering from severe injuries to his head, according to police. He was last reported to be hospitalized in critical condition.

Butler was charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, kidnapping, multiple counts of robbery and simple assault, terroristic threats, unlawful restraint, recklessly endangering another person, and harassment. He was committed to the Lebanon County Correctional Facility on $1 million bail.

State police are asking anyone with information about the hit-and-run to call them at 717-865-2194.

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