Coopersburg Man to Judge: "Bath Salts Destroyed my Entire Life"
Former self-described "drug addict" Joseph Lipyanik, 27, of Coopersburg gets three years' probation for institutional vandalism, resisting arrest, defiant trespass.
In front of Lehigh County Judge James Anthony, family, and friends, Coopersburg resident Joseph Lipyanik recounted his tale of drug use and lost time as he was sentenced to three years' probation and thousands in restitution stemming from a March 2012 incident.
"I was a drug addict," said Lipyanik. "Bath salts destroyed my entire life."
Lipyanik, 25, who told Anthony of his struggles and recovery at a recent court session, was arrested in March after he and partner, Shawn P. Flaherty, attempted to break into a Coopersburg church. Lipyanik then ran from police.
"My perception of reality was altered," said Lipyanik, as he explained to the judge how easy it was to get the synthetic hallucinogen before Pennsylvania banned the drug. "It was a drug of convienence you used to be able to get at a gas station."
According to a criminal complaint, police were called to investigate a fight between two men on Route 309 in Coopersburg. While police were handcuffing the man later identified as Flaherty, Lipyanik ran.
The complaint goes on to say police followed Lipyanik, shooting him with a Taser on his back and leg, at which point he fell to the ground. Lipyanik then jumped and again was shot with a Taser. Police say Lipyanik then removed the probes, jumped a fence, ran to apartment building and began banging on a back door and windows.
Lipyanik then rammed the door to an apartment with his body, breaking the locked door. Police entered the apartment and located Lipyanik hiding in a storage closet in the kitchen.
The complaint also states that while detained in the police car, Lipyanik started kicking out the driver-side rear window, ultimately shattering the glass and ripping the rubber molding in an attempt to escape.
Lipyanik told Anthony that he has been able to get his life on track thanks to counseling and the constant support of his family.
"My life now is incredible," said Lipyanik.
Flaherty pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest in June and was sentenced to three years' probation.