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A 35-year-old Monroe Twp. man who struck a state trooper trying to arrest him in January for stealing a tractor faces at least three years in state prison after being sentenced last Wednesday (Dec. 12) to aggravated assault and theft by unlawful taking.

George Emerson Zacharias Jr. stood before Wyoming County President Judge Russell Shurtleff and said, “I’m very sorry for what I’ve done.”

While the judge thanked him for his words, he acknowledged the victim was a state trooper, and any lesser of a sentence than the 22-84 months in state prison just for the aggravated assault on Jan. 30, would depreciate the seriousness of his action.

Court records note that the tractor’s owner reported that he saw his missing machine doing doughnuts in a baseball field near Plattsburg Road in Monroe Twp. when state police were called in.

They saw two people come out of the woods near a house on Star Hill Road, where they last saw the tractor, and ordered them to stop.

A woman did. A man, later identified as Zacharias, ran back into the woods.

State police followed the footprints he left behind in the snow for one mile before apprehending Zacharias who fought against his arrest and swung his elbow into the left side of Trooper Cody Scepaniak’s face.

A syringe and spoon, common items used to prepare and inject narcotics, were found in Zacharias’ pants pocket.

Zacharias also was sentenced to 16-48 months in state prison for theft by unlawful taking on Jan. 29, with prison time consecutive to the other sentence and ordering a drug and alcohol evaluation.

Zacharias also received credit for 317 days already served in county jail.