Woman Charged With Shoving Man In Front Of Cop Car

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WILKES-BARRE -- A woman intentionally pushed a man into the street early Tuesday right into the path of a police cruiser, according to investigators.

Officers say the whole thing was caught on camera.

The criminal complaint does not say why Ruth Publik shoved the man out into the street.

The officer is being credited for swerving quickly enough to keep the man from being seriously injured, but police will not release the video of the incident that was captured on a Hawkeye surveillance camera.

Court documents say Ruth Publik of Wilkes-Barre intentionally pushed a man off a sidewalk and into the path of a police cruiser.

It happened just after midnight at the intersection of Academy and South Main Streets in Wilkes-Barre.

"It's crazy. I can't believe people would do that. What would possess someone to do that? It's insane," said Ryan Taylor of Wilkes-Barre.

Authorities say the officer swerved but still brushed the man with the front passenger side of the cruiser.  The man walked away with just a minor injury to his elbow.

Police say Publik did not try to run.

Court documents say that as the officer handcuffed her, Publik told the man she had just pushed into traffic "now you got your wish."

"He must have triggered her off, for her to push him across the street. He knows her," said Sharon Gaffney of Wilkes-Barre.

Investigators say a Hawkeye surveillance camera recorded Publik as she ran up behind the man and used both hands to push him off the curb. Police say they will not release the video because it is evidence in the case.

Ryan Taylor moved to Wilkes-Barre from Tunkhannock a few months ago and believes the cameras are a crime deterrent.

"There's parks I take my 3 year old to, there's cameras in the parks. I think they're a good idea."

Other people including Sharon Gaffney feel the electronic eyes are not preventing crime.

"They don't care about the cameras. They're going to do them regardless. I saw a lot of people doing a whole lot of bad stuff."

The man pushed into traffic and hit by the cruiser is expected to recover.

Publik is locked up on charges of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.

The court documents do not explain the relationship between Publik and the man or why she pushed him off the curb.


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