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Man charged with assault after smoking marijuana acquired in New York State, causing crash

A Warren man faces charges including aggravated assault by vehicle in connection with a crash that occurred after he went to New York State to acquire marijuana, smoking it on the way home.

Thomas Kittner, 83, 322 Park Ave., was charged by City of Warren police. The incident occurred back in May but charges were just filed last week.

City of Warren police were dispatched to the intersection of Pennsylvania Ave. E. and Alson St. on May 7 shortly after 3:30 p.m.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, an investigation allegedly concluded that Kittner “did not come to a complete stop before proceeding through a stop sign.” Failing to yield to oncoming traffic, police say, caused the accident.

Police say Kittner allegedly admitted to causing the accident.

The affidavit states that police observed a bag of marijuana on the driver’s seat floorboard totaling 28 grams.

Kittner, per the affidavit, allegedly told police that “he just purchased marijuana from New York state and was on his way home. While on his way home he stopped several times to pull over and smoke marijuana and then continued to drive.”

Adult-use cannabis is legal in New York State but not Pennsylvania. Law enforcement sources previously outlined concerns to the Times Observer about the easy access of marijuana across the state line, including many dispensaries on the Seneca Nation lands just across the border.

Police state Kittner told them he had smoked marijuana most recently 15 minutes prior to the accident.

“The victim sustained serious bodily injury and had to undergo surgery as a result of the accident,” police said.

Online court records show that Kittner faces charges including aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, DUI, possession of marijuana and a traffic offense.

A preliminary hearing is currently scheduled for August.

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