Manassas man gets jail time for assault

A 27-year-old Manassas man was sentenced to two years in jail with one year suspended on the condition he undergo a mental health assessment and counseling after punching a Community Services Board worker and a Prince William police officer April 18.

Anthony J. Crews of 8020 Portwood Lane, Manassas, was charged with assault and battery on a police officer and three additional counts of assault and battery. The assault and battery charge on an officer was reduced to obstructing justice and two of the three remaining assault and battery charges were dropped Wednesday by Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Richard A. Conway.

Crews pleaded no contest to obstruction of justice and one count of assault and battery. A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but a defendant pleading no contest does not dispute the charge.

On April 18, Prince William police officer B. T. Coady responded to Crews’ home where Joseph Santone of the Community Services Board said Crews had punched him.

Crews’ defense attorney, Kelly Latimer, said that Crews thought “Mr. Santone was improperly evicting [Crews]” from the premises.

Crews argued with the officer, asking if Coady had seen Crews hit Santone. Coady then tried to arrest Crews, who resisted and punched the officer. Two nearby maintenance workers, Jeffery Gregory and William Fernatt, both of Manassas, assisted Coady in the struggle with Crews. During the scuffle, Crews hit Gregory in the lip and Fernatt on the left ear.

Circuit Court Judge William D. Hamblen said the mental health assessment and counseling would get Crews “more squared away mentally than you apparently have been.”

Staff writer Maria Hegstad can be reached at (703) 368-3101, Ext. 121

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