Rusty Stephen Garlock, 25, of Three Springs, Pa., was sentenced on Friday, Oct. 13 in Huntingdon County court after pleading to charges stemming from an assault on Wildlife Conservation Officer Richard Macklem II as he attempted to stop his vehicle during a poaching incident, Friday, Nov. 11, 2016.
Huntingdon County President Judge George Zanic sentenced Garlock to serve 18 months to three years in a State Correctional Institution for the felony count of aggravated assault on a law-enforcement officer.
Garlock also was fined $2,000 and ordered to pay the costs of prosecution.
For the felony count of criminal mischief, Garlock was sentenced to seven years of probation, to be served consecutive to his confinement. He was fined $250 and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $6,624.35 for the damage caused to the WCO’s patrol vehicle.
On the last two summary counts of unlawful killing or taking big game, and resisting or interfering with an officer, Garlock was ordered to pay additional fines totaling $2,000.
Responding to information about deer-poaching along Mathews Bridge Road in southern Huntingdon County, Macklem noticed a spotlight coming from a truck, followed by a gunshot. He closed in on the truck to investigate.
After stopping his patrol vehicle near the truck, the officer activated his emergency lights and cast a spotlight on the vehicle. At that moment, the truck’s driver apparently engaged the vehicle’s high-beam headlights, in an effort to impede the vision of officer Macklem.
Then, the truck suddenly lunged toward the patrol vehicle, striking it in the front left fender and damaging the passenger side. After pushing past the patrol vehicle, the truck fled the area. Macklem attempted to pursue the fleeing truck, but was unable to continue the pursuit.
Bedford County WCO Brandon Pfister’s subsequent investigation of the incident concluded Garlock was operating the truck that struck Macklem’s patrol vehicle and that truck had been involved in the killing of an illegal deer through the use of a spotlight.
“The culmination of this case, resulting from the due diligence of the investigating WCOs and the Huntingdon County District Attorney’s office, clearly demonstrates that crimes against wildlife, and assault on our officers will not be taken lightly, and we will find you,” said Southcentral Regional Director Brad Myers.
Garlock is currently confined to the Huntingdon County Prison awaiting transport to SCI Camp Hill to begin his sentence.