Verdict: Man Guilty of Threatening Lititz Hospital Staff, Causing Lockdown
A Middletown man was convicted of threatening staff at a Lititz area hospital – his claims including a “biker gang” assault - causing the facility to lockdown for several hours.
A Lancaster County jury convicted 49-year-old Donald A. Burkhart Jr. of felony and misdemeanor counts of terroristic threats regarding the Nov. 20, 2018, behavior at UPMC Lititz on Highlands Drive.
Burkhart made a series of threats around the time period when his wife was in labor at the hospital.
Lancaster County Judge Howard Knisely, who presided over the trial, will order sentence after a background investigation is completed in a couple months.
At the verdict, Judge Knisely set Burkhart’s bail at $100,000 cash, which was not posted.
Assistant District Attorney Amara Riley presented evidence at the two-day trial of Burkhart’s comments to nurses and a doctor, which included claims that he was president of a biker gang and “things got ugly” at a prior hospital incident.
Burkhart told one nurse he “already spent five years behind bars” and he “wasn’t going back,” according to testimony.
“I can’t control my temper,” he also said, according to testimony.
ADA Riley outlined in her closing argument over a dozen such threatening interactions.
“They will descend on this hospital and have their way,” Burkhart told a doctor, referring to the biker gang.
Staff testified that they feared for their safety and the entire hospital locked down from evening until the following morning.
Burkhart also commanded that his wife be allowed to smoke and that he be allowed to bring his pit bull into the hospital.
Burkhart was found not guilty of terroristic threats causing a serious public inconvenience.
Northern Lancaster County Regional police Officer Alexandra Parisi filed charges.
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