WILKES-BARRE — A man accused of threatening City Wide Towing owner Bob Kadluboski with a box cutter has filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea.
Todd Miller Masterman, 55, of Wilkes-Barre, filed the last-minute motion shortly before he was to be sentenced by Luzerne County Judge Fred A. Pierantoni III on Monday. He initially pleaded guilty to a felony count of aggravated assault and a misdemeanor count of terroristic threats.
Masterman’s attorney, Charles Ross, explained that his client has not had the opportunity to seek proper psychiatric help. Prosecutors have 10 days to respond to the motion.
Kadluboski testified before the sentence was supposed to be given. He said he lives in constant fear, and that the court proceedings have dragged on since the incident took place in 2011.
He also called on the court to “teach him (Masterman) a lesson.”
“I’m lucky to be alive over doing one thing — my job,” Kadluboski said.
Masterman apologized for his actions before his sentence was to be given. He remarked that he had not had the opportunity to seek psychiatric help, which prompted Pierantoni to ask if he wanted to withdraw his plea. Masterman and his attorney stepped out of the courtroom for a brief recess — they returned later to file the motion to withdraw the plea.
Police allege Masterman rushed at Kadluboski and threatened him with a box cutter at Kadluboski’s impound yard on New Frederick Street on Aug. 13, 2011. Masterman threatened to kill Kadluboski, who defended himself by reaching for a pistol, according to the criminal complaint.
Kadluboski said Masterman was angry because he had towed his vehicle.
District Judge Martin Kane initially dismissed the charges against Masterman when the arresting officer, Joseph Sinavage, and Kadluboski failed to appear at a preliminary hearing in February. Kadluboski stated neither he nor the arresting officer had been notified of the preliminary hearing.
Charges were swiftly refiled on the same week, and Masterman was arraigned by District Judge Diana Malast in Plains Township.