A Hanover man must serve prison time for slipping out a set of handcuffs and using a seat belt to choke a constable who was driving him rom a court hearing.

Johnothan Lee Heck was sentenced to five to 10 years in state prison during his March 18 sentencing hearing.

Presiding Common Pleas Judge Craig T. Trebilcock also ordered Heck to undergo mental-health treatment, records state.

Heck, 20, pleaded guilty Dec. 14 to aggravated assault and attempted escape. There was no negotiated plea agreement, meaning it was up to the judge to determine Heck's punishment.

Defense attorney Bill Graff said Heck took responsibility for what he did.

"When he's taking his medicine he's not a bad kid," Graff said. "I just hope he can get the help he needs."

Attack 'egregious': Senior deputy prosecutor Jonathan Blake said the attack required punishment.

"Judge Trebilcock seemed sympathetic to (Heck's) mental-health problems," Blake said. "But at same time, the level of violence shown ... was so egregious that I'm not sure the judge had any other choice."

Heck assaulted constable Donald Gettys on April 12 while Gettys was transporting him from a court hearing, police said.

He somehow slipped out of handcuffs and used a seat belt to choke Gettys, police said. It happened near the corner of East Market Street and Northern Way in Springettsbury Township.

Gettys was able to struggle free and drive to York County Prison, where corrections officers helped him get Heck into custody.


The constable escaped with just a minor abrasion on his scalp.

-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at levans@yorkdispatch.com.