A Berks County man who authorities say pointed a revolver at a motorist he angrily encountered in a Home Depot parking lot during a “road rage” incident will spend Saturday, May 3, in a Chester County Prison cell.
Chester County Common Pleas Judge Patrick Carmody gave defendant Sean Patrick Dublynn a choice — spend a day in jail or complete a lengthy number of hours of community service. Dublynn, a general contractor whose attorney said cannot afford to spend too much time away from his business, chose the prison time.
Carmody sentenced Dublynn to one day to 23 months in county prison, plus an additional 40 hours of community service, and ordered him to surrender or forfeit all of his firearms, as punishment for the single count of simple assault arising from the threatening encounter with the other motorist that he pleaded guilty to.
“Road rage is a very serious problem,” Carmody, a former prosecutor, told Dublynn during the sentencing proceeding. He noted that there had been incidents in the county when someone who had a weapon pointed at them ended up crashing their car in fear or, in other cases, they themselves retaliated by pulling a weapon.
“You flash a gun at someone else, you don’t know what’s going to happen,” Carmody said. “I don’t want you owning a gun. You forfeited the right to owning a gun by acting so recklessly.”
According to the prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Kelsey Gvordich, and a criminal complaint filed in the matter, Dublynn, 42, of Boyertown, was identified as the driver of a white van that was involved in the confrontation in the Home Depot parking lot on East Lancaster Avenue in East Whiteland.
According to the victim in the case, whose name was not used in the arrest affidavit, he was pulling out of a parking spot around 9:20 a.m. on Jan. 13 when he saw a van pull alongside him. The driver was acting aggressively, so the victim stopped his car. When he did, the driver of the van pulled a silver revolver out and, using both hands, pointed it out the window at the victim. The victim said he ducked his head and hit the gas to drive away.
Police were able to identify the license number of the van and to confirm what the victim had told them through a video of the encounter caught by the store’s surveillance camera.
Dublynn, who was accompanied by his attorney, Kimberly Schulze of Doylestown, gave a different version of events. He said the driver of the other car had pulled up behind him and began shouting at him for some alleged infraction. He said the driver leaned out of his window and threatened to beat him up, and it was then when he pulled out the revolver and showed it to the man.
But he acknowledged that he did pull the weapon and display it to the other motorist.
“I know I made a mistake, your honor, but I did feel that I was threatened,” Dublynn said.
The victim was not in court to give his side of the events, but Carmody noted he may have felt too frightened at the prospect of seeing Dublynn again that he chose not to appear. Gvozdich said she had spoken with the victim but did not know why he did not appear.
Schulze said her client had taken steps to deal with the case by enrolling in an anger management course, to which he goes once a week. He urged Carmody not to impose any jail time since Dublynn’s wife does not drive and she needs him for transportation. But Carmody said that because the gun in the incident was admittedly loaded, he felt that some form of punishment other than probation was necessary.