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Published: Thursday, 2/20/2014

Driver who hit worker while fleeing gets 5 years

Sinkey Sinkey

A motorist who struck and injured a road construction worker while fleeing from police was sentenced Wednesday to more than five years in prison.

Robert Sinkey, 25, of 1001 Mott Ave., had pleaded no contest to vehicular assault and been found guilty Jan. 29 in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

He also pleaded guilty to grand theft of a motor vehicle and failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer for the Oct. 21 incident in which Jarred James, 20, of Toledo was injured.

The victim’s father, Christopher James, told the court he was angered by Sinkey’s actions but thankful “the Lord was looking after” his son that day. He said his son had recovered from his injuries, and he hoped that Sinkey would “emerge a better person” from prison.

Noting Sinkey’s prior criminal record as well as the pending charges he faces in Perrysburg Municipal Court and Williams County Common Pleas Court, Judge Michael Goulding sentenced Sinkey to 42 months in prison on the three charges. He also terminated a previously imposed probation from a burglary conviction in Williams County and ordered him to consecutively serve 588 days in that case, and he suspended his driver’s license for 10 years.

Defense attorney James Anderson told the court that the pending charges in Williams County were one of the factors that played into Sinkey’s decision to flee that day.

Toledo police were assisting officers from Northwood, where the chase began, when Sinkey struck Mr. James near Collingwood Boulevard and Floyd Street.

Sinkey then abandoned his car, stole a pickup, and was finally stopped and apprehended when police vehicles boxed him in on the Martin Luther King, Jr., Bridge.

Mr. Anderson asked the court to consider that Sinkey was forthright in his confession to police and remorseful and had taken responsibility for what he did. “He’s not a thoughtless guy, not a career criminal, and not someone who I would think is any kind of menace,” Mr. Anderson told the court.

Sinkey himself apologized to “the citizens of Toledo” and to the victim in the case.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.

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