BETHLEHEM, Pa. | Authorities allege a driver intentionally hit a man with his vehicle and backed into his minivan as they were stopped along the side of a Route 22 on-ramp after a fender bender.
Edward F. Kita Jr., of Packer Street in Easton, faces assault and endangerment charges in connection with the alleged incident late Thursday afternoon off Schoenersville Road in Bethlehem. District Judge Wayne Maura arraigned the 58-year-old later that night, setting bail at $10,000.
Pennsylvania State Police report that the incident occurred about 4:30 p.m. Thursday on the ramp from Schoenersville Road to eastbound Route 22 in Lehigh County. Kita and the driver of the other vehicle involved both drove to the state police Bethlehem barracks after the incident to speak with police.
The victim told state police that he tried to pull onto the shoulder of the on-ramp, so he could retrieve something for one of his children in the vehicle. That’s when Kita pulled his vehicle onto the shoulder of the ramp and allegedly struck the victim’s minivan, according to court records.
As the victim stepped out of his vehicle to exchange information with the other driver, Kita allegedly backed up and almost hit him, according to police. The victim told police that he kicked Kita’s passenger door and walked around the back of the vehicle. As he walked in front of Kita’s Jeep, Kita allegedly accelerated forward, striking the other driver, according to records.
Kita then allegedly reversed his Jeep, pulled forward and struck the left front fender of the minivan, according to the victim.
State police said video taken by a bystander allegedly shows the two vehicles after the initial collision. The victim is reportedly seen out of his minivan as Kita’s Jeep backs into the parked minivan, hits the other driver and tries to hit him again before pulling away, according to state police.
Authorities said there were six children and a woman in the van at the time.
Kita and the victim each called police to report the incident. Kita told police that the other driver attacked his vehicle and believed he was trying to fight him. He reportedly told police several times that he feared for his life and alleged that the victim threatened to kill him.
Kita now faces a felony count of aggravated assault and misdemeanor counts of simple assault, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief. Kita was released from custody on Friday after a bondsman posted his bail. His next court date is a preliminary hearing tentatively scheduled for Nov. 14.