Man gets six months for assaulting officer

LISBON — Lucas P. Kenney, 29, South Lincoln Avenue, Salem, told Judge C. Ashley Pike the New Year’s Eve drinking party which led to him aggressively attacking Lisbon police officers was the start of his sobriety.

Kenney, in county Common Pleas Court Monday, said it was not until he got sober that he really understood compassion for others and has been able to focus on the things that truly matter in life. He said he had some problems before, but was not mature enough to take his sobriety seriously.

But Pike said he believes there is still a penalty to be paid for assaulting police officers, who Pike reminded him deserve our respect. Pike sentenced Kenney to six months in prison with credit for 20 days served. The sentence was the same as recommended by Assistant County Prosecutor Tammie Riley Jones for the charges Kenney pleaded guilty to in August — resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and two counts of assault.

Defense attorney Richard Hura said Kenney has already written letters of apology to patrolman Michael Cherol and Lt. John Hancock for his actions on that night. He also has begun taking some steps toward continued sobriety, participating in counseling and meetings. He also plans to work by helping others with substance abuse problems battle their addiction.

His fiancee, Melissa Blacker, also spoke before the hearing noting she has been through a lot with Kenney and did not think he would ever quit drinking. However, Blacker said between tears, they are now closer than ever and she is glad this happened because it opened Kenney’s eyes.

“I’m very proud of him,” she said.

Police were called after Kenney had become unruly at a party at the Workman residence on South Beaver Street. He began threatening other guests, which prompted the hosts to ask him to leave. When Cherol and Hancock arrived, Kenney was hiding across the street on a porch.

Kenney refused to comply with the orders of the police, punched at officers numerous times, was tased at least three times, removed the taser probes himself and tried to take the police officers’ equipment. Cherol’s finger was lacerated in the struggle.

Additionally, Jones said police had to stop the police cruiser between South Beaver Street and the police station because of Kenney’s unruly behavior after he had been taken into custody.