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Early release granted to man who threatened police

By Justin Wier

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

By Justin Wier

jwier@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

A man who threatened police officers in Campbell and Coitsville was granted early release Monday, but he will spend the next five years on probation.

David Dunkel, 58, of West Middlesex, Pa., began his four-year prison sentence Sept. 22 on charges of intimidation and obstructing official business.

Assistant Prosecutor Michael Yacovone said he would not object to early release because Dunkel “has time hanging over his head.”

Judge John M. Durkin ordered Dunkel to undergo an assessment and complete any alcohol or mental health treatment deemed necessary and to refrain from nonemergency contact with Coitsville and Campbell police departments.

Dunkel threatened the lives of officers in both departments both in person and over the phone.

On June 13, Dunkel pulled alongside a Coitsville officer, blocking him in his car, and shouted threats including, “[Expletive] you, cops. I will kill you [expletive]. I will run you over with my truck and kill your [expletives].”

He also left recorded threats on the answering machine at the Coitsville Township Police Department and his father’s voicemail.

They detailed a plan to put armor on his truck, drive it into police cars and shoot the officers, and stated a desire to make national news, prosecutors said.

At sentencing, Dunkel’s attorney said his client was drunk at the time and had no memory of the threats.

It was revealed at sentencing that Dunkel’s son overdosed the day of the threats and his dog died the night before.

Dunkel assured the court Monday that he would not be a problem in the future.

He said he wrote to both police departments and assured them that he meant no harm.

“I’m too old for this,” Dunkel said. “It’s never going to happen again."