Man Charged in Tar Attack Jailed for Assault

SCRANTON, Pa. -- A man accused of spraying hot tar on a group of people in downtown Scranton is now facing felony charges.

Michael D'Agostino, the owner of a seal coating business, was arraigned at the Lackawanna County Courthouse Thursday afternoon. He's facing felony assault charges for what happened on Courthouse Square last weekend.

Scranton police charged D'Agostino with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and criminal mischief for a sticky situation the hurt people and property in two places in the city.

There's still tar on the sidewalks of North Washington Avenue in downtown where D'Agostino allegedly took the hose off of his work truck and sprayed eight people with the stuff he uses to seal driveways.

One victim suffered first-degree burns and his truck was covered in tar. He now says the truck is totaled.

D'Agostino told Newswatch 16 it was all an accident, an excuse police didn't buy since he got into an argument with the group of people just a few minutes earlier.

The victims say he threatened to come back. They never expected he'd come back with tar.

The rest of the property damage seems to be unintentional. D'Agostino told Newswatch 16 he noticed the hose of his truck was still spilling tar when he was driving home in west Scranton.

A few dozen vehicles were hit with the stuff late Saturday night.

"I looked out my window and I see pretty much the whole block was walking up and down looking at their vehicles. And I was perplexed, thinking, 'what's going on?' Walked out and see this trail of tar and all of the vehicles were sprayed with tar," said Charles Wasko.

Wasko's brand-new Jeep was covered in tar. Neighbors on 10th Avenue are familiar with D'Agostino; he used to live there.

Wasko hopes justice might also cover the cost of a new paint job.

"Took it to a body shop, they said they can't determine whether they can get it done by a detailer. If it can't be done by a detailer, then it has to be painted all over again. It's kind of annoying because it's a brand-new vehicle and I shouldn't have to deal with this."

D'Agostino was sent to the Lackawanna County Prison after his arraignment, he's being held on $20,000 bail.


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