Jun. 22-Editor's note: This story has been corrected. An earlier version incorrectly indicated that the struck vehicle belonged to the defendant.
A Perry Township man was arrested after police said he choked and punched a 21-year-old man after the victim backed into a parked vehicle in the Walmart Supercenter parking lot near Hamburg before a good Samaritan intervened.
Joshua L. Cassler, 21, was taken into custody without incident by Tilden Township police who responded to the shopping center on Tilden Ridge Drive about 1:40 p.m. Tuesday.
According to Police Chief William J. McEllroy III:
Officers were dispatched for a report of an accident in the parking lot and were advised that the victim, who is autistic and has cerebral palsy, had accidentally backed a vehicle into a parked vehicle and a pole.
The victim got out of the vehicle and ran toward the store, where he was stopped by Cassler.
Multiple witnesses saw Cassler grab the victim, who was screaming.
Cassler choked him with both hands, then put the man in a chokehold and punched him about the face and chest. He shoved the victim into a pole in front of the store and punched him again.
A witness stopped the assault and stayed with Cassler to prevent him from resuming the assault.
The victim was taken by ambulance to Reading Hospital for evaluation.
Cassler of the 300 block of Mohrsville Road was committed to Berks County Prison in lieu of $2,000 bail to await a hearing following arraignment before District Judge Alvin B. Robinson in Reading Central Court.
Cassler is charged with strangulation, simple assault, harassment and disorderly conduct.