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The Journal Gazette

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Monday, September 25, 2017 2:30 pm

No additional jail time for Huntertown man

JIM CHAPMAN | The Journal Gazette

A Huntertown man will serve little or no additional time behind bars for slugging a confinement officer while in jail for wielding a machete and running from police last year.

John E. Valenti III, 42, was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty last month to felony battery and misdemeanor resisting law enforcement in two separate cases.

Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck sentenced Valenti to a total of 3 1/2 years. The judge suspended two years of the sentence, leaving 1 1/2 years behind bars.

Valenti, however, was given credit for nearly 1 1/2 years already served in jail. Having served the required time behind bars, he will now be placed on probation for two years.

Surbeck also ordered Valenti to pay $11,116 in restitution. As part of a plea agreement, a charge of resisting law enforcement was dismissed.

The two cases began when police were called to an unoccupied barn in northwest Allen County in June 2016. A man with paint on his face, later identified as Valenti, was carrying a machete and several large bags.

He fled from an Allen County Sheriff's Department officer when the officer told him to stop. The officer also told Valenti he would send his dog after him.

After the officer ordered his dog to stop Valenti, Valenti raised his machete as the dog was biting his shoulder. Fearful that Valenti would use the machete to strike the dog, the officer drew his gun and ordered Valenti to drop the machete, which he did. He was then arrested.

Later that month, Valenti, then an Allen County Jail inmate, punched the left side of Lt. Vance Pruden's head. Pruden was assisting the jail nurse, who was administering medication to Valenti, according to court documents.

After receiving medication, Valenti refused to go back into his cell and struck Pruden.

Pruden then struck Valenti with his right hand in an attempt to control him. Valenti was guided back to his cell with the assistance of other officers.

Pruden suffered a broken right wrist.