The co-owner of a SouthSide Bethlehem restaurant is suspected of driving drunk when his pickup truck almost hit construction workers on Route 22 early Thursday – one year to the day that he and his wife opened their eatery.
John M. Silvestera, 39, co-owner of Horns Restaurant and a resident of Forks Township, also is accused of kicking two police officers in the knees after being processed at the Northampton County DUI Center. He also refused to take a blood-alcohol test.
The state police trooper who arrested Silvestera in Easton described his behavior as “belligerent, defiant and aggressive” and said he was “continually and repeatedly insulting” to him and officials at the DUI center.
Silvestera’s arrest came exactly a year after he and his wife, Sarah, the other co-owner, opened Horns at 123 W. Fourth St. The Aug. 30, 2011 opening is contained in a published report. And he was in the news in June when a 19-year-old man was charged with for being a “snitch."
A criminal complaint filed by Trooper Michael Hodgskin of state police at Bethlehem also says:
- The left eastbound lane of Route 22 near the 13th Street exit in Easton was closed as part of an ongoing project. Hodgskin was parked in the closed lane just east of 13th Street. Around 2:20am, he saw a black 2004 Ford F-150 eastbound in the right lane. The pickup appeared to be swerving and at one point hit a cone before “sharply correcting back” into the right lane.
- The pickup, driven by Silvestera, passed the trooper’s car “at such close distance it appeared as though our vehicles might impact.” The pickup ran over a second cone, then the trooper saw it “suddenly swerve, just missing several of the construction workers” in the left lane.
- Hodgskin began following Silvestera, whose truck was doing “considerable weaving,” and activated his car’s lights and siren. Silvestera eventually pulled over at Third and Bushkill streets. The trooper noticed he had bloodshot and glassy eyes, a strong odor of alcohol and slurred speech. Silvestera admitted to drinking earlier in the evening.
- Silvestera failed field-sobriety tests but refused to take a breath test. It was while Hodgskin took him to the DUI center that Silvestera became unruly. And once at the center, he tried to get out just after entering and had to be “physically escorted” inside.
- After refusing to take a blood-alcohol test, he was taken outside. He “lunged forward,” threw himself into a gate, fell to the ground and began screaming that he was being hit and needed help.
- Two police officers working inside the center – Officer Steve Papcsy from the Freemansburg police and Patrolman Vincent Bruneo from Easton police – assisted in helping Silvestera to his feet. Silvestera kicked Papcsy once in the knee and Bruneo twice in the knee. Neither officer was injured.
- Silvestera had a minor abrasion to a toe on his left foot and asked to be taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg for treatment.
Silvestera, of 2535 N. Delaware Drive, was charged with DUI, simple assault, resisting arrest, harassment, driving on roadways laned for traffic and careless driving. He was arraigned at 6:45am Thursday by on-duty District Judge Robert Hawke of Lehigh Township and committed to Northampton County Prison after failing to post $8,000 bail.