Biting gets man up to 11 months in jail


A city man who bit another man at a river lot in Susquehanna Township early in the morning last Sept. 9, before backing his truck into a neighboring camper, will spend another five months in county lockup for charges of simple assault and causing a motor vehicle accident involving damage, plus violating his probation.

Matthew Lantz, 26, of 659 Rose Street, was sentenced to five-and-one-half to 11 months of county incarceration by Judge Richard Gray on Monday morning.

Lantz pleaded guilty to biting Bradley Deparasis in the neck at a river lot on Campfire Lane around 4:15 a.m. on Sept. 9.

Lantz then got into his pickup truck and backed into a camper owned by Jeffrey Bartholomew before he drove away. He was later apprehended in the area by a state trooper.

Lantz was on probation at the time for a simple assault charge stemming from an Oct. 18, 2012, incident where he punched a man he found at his ex-girlfriend’s Third Avenue apartment.

After the river lot incident, Lantz kept running into the law, which has kept him in jail much of the last eight months.

“He had summary harassment charges on Oct. 4, then on Oct. 5 I received a call from his girlfriend that he was out drinking and causing trouble at her parents’ residence. He blew a .06 and was detained at that time,” probation officer Adam Lorson told the court. “On Nov. 21, he allegedly slapped his girlfriend in the face and was incarcerated at that time.”

The prosecution asked for a sentence of one to two years state time for both the probation violation and the charges from the river lot incident.

Defense attorney Kathryn Bellfy argued “by the time he’s sent upstate, classified and then completes the required programming there he’d be approaching his maximum.”

Lantz told the court he’s made changes in his time in jail.

“I’ve been visiting with Father Brian (van Fossen, of St. Joseph the Worker Parish), and he really wants to be my support system,” Lantz told the court. “What I realize by going to AA meetings, I’ve never had support on how to handle sobriety by myself. I listen to people that have been clean 10, 15, 20 years, they had a support system.”

“So you think there’s some changes that can be made?” Gray asked Lantz.

“I think by the time I get back out of county I can be in a good routine,” Lantz said. “It had to really smack me in the face, that all my charges stem from drinking.”

Gray also ordered Lantz to pay $550 in restitution to Deparasis and $2,837.56 to Bartholomew.