By: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
READING, PA — Identified as Santos P. Iraola, who was dressed in a robe and boots during the destructive rampage back on Dec. 9 at the Cupid’s Arcade adult store located at 14663 Kutztown Road, admitted Monday Oct. 2, that he assaulted an employee at the adult store with a baseball bat back in December 2016. Iraola pleaded guilty before Judge Patrick T. Barrett to aggravated assault, making terrorist threats and theft.
Judge Barrett sentenced Iraola to a total of 111/2 to 23 months in Berks County Prison followed by five years of probation. Iraola also was ordered to pay more than $3,500 in restitution for the adult store assault.
Iraola’s defense attorney Paul S. Missan said that his client, who served in the U.S. Army for 24 years, underwent a mental health evaluation, but was found to be competent to face the charges.
The District Attorney’s office told the court:
“The clerk called 9-1-1 before 7 a.m. to report that he had been assaulted at the 24-hour adult gift store and that his attacker was waiting for him outside with a baseball bat. Iraola left in his SUV before Fleetwood police arrived, but the victim told police he had punctured two of the tires on the vehicle with a piece of glass to keep Iraola from leaving.
Iraola left his wallet in the store, which helped investigators identify him as the attacker. He was arrested soon after by Northern Berks Regional police officers who spotted his SUV heading south on Route 222 with two flat tires.
The victim, who was bleeding from his face, head and hand, told police that Iraola entered the store wearing only a robe and boots. He said Iraola jumped a turnstile to a theater portion of the store, so he went to stop him, informing him he hadn’t paid enough to enter that part of the store and he couldn’t use a credit card to pay for it. The news enraged Iraola, who then went behind the counter and began assaulting the clerk.
Footage from a surveillance video inside the store showed Iraola walking behind the counter and punching the clerk several times in the face. He then began to strike the victim in the head with a hard plastic bottle as his robe slipped off.
Before leaving the store, Iraola took the clerk’s keys and cellphone and threatened him with a large shard of glass, throwing it at the victim as he walked out.
The clerk then left the store and used the piece of glass to puncture Iraola’s tires. Iraola responded by getting a baseball bat from his SUV and striking the victim in the head. The clerk then ran back into the store, locked the door and called 9-1-1.
Authorities said Iraola caused significant damage at the Cupid’s Arcade adult store during the roughly 15-minute ruckus, smashing several glass showcases. The store was closed for at least a full day for cleanup and repairs.
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