AUBURN — Police have charged an Auburn man with aggravated assault in connection with an incident Wednesday night at the traveling carnival at Great Falls Plaza.
William Panzino, 21, struck Kyle Karkos, also 21, of Lewiston with a 1995 Nissan Sentra, Deputy Chief Jason Moen of the Auburn Police Department said Thursday.
Police said Karkos is believed to have been involved in a fight with one of Panzino’s friends at the carnival earlier in the evening, and the cause of that fight is still under investigation.
Karkos was struck at 7:20 p.m. while crossing the street after exchanging words with someone in Panzino’s vehicle.
A short time after Karkos was struck, police found Panzino and charged him with aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon and reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, Moen said. Panzino was being held at the Androscoggin County Jail on $15,000 cash bail and is expected to be arraigned on the charges Friday.
Karkos, who was knocked to the ground by the Nissan, was taken to Central Maine Medical Center where he was treated and released.
Kyle Karkos' mother, Kelley Karkos, witnessed the collision, she said, as she and members of her family were attending the carnival with a number of small children.
According to Kelley Karkos, her son had an argument with a man at the carnival that he had known in high school. They argued after the man started harassing Kyle Karkos about the 2006 accident that killed Kenny Jellison during a drag race down Canal Street in Lewiston. Karkos, who was 17 at the time, was driving his Honda Civic and Jellison was a passenger in the vehicle.
Karkos was charged with manslaughter, reckless conduct and driving to endanger in connection with that wreck. A judge later dismissed the charges in 8th District Court.
According to Kelley Karkos, her son has been harassed almost continually since, in person and on Facebook. "The social networking is horrible," she said.
The family has reported the harassment to police, but Kelley Karkos said emphatically that the harassment has to stop. Her son is engaged to be married and is raising two children with his fiancee.
"Kyle's really doing good for himself now," she said, frustrated that the harassment continues four years after Jellison died. She said she knows the Jellison family is not behind the harassment; it seems to be friends of Jellison and strangers.
Referring to the incident at Great Falls Plaza, Kelley Karkos said, "Kyle could have been killed. He got thrown 25 feet," landing on grass just beyond the sidewalk after he was struck by Panzino's car. "It was bad," she said, with a crowd of people witnessing the event.
Kyle sustained injuries to his hand, head and back and was seeking specialized medical treatment Thursday.
According to Sun Journal archives, Panzino has previous convictions for operating an unregistered all-terrain vehicle and operating an ATV on a public way in 2008. According to his driving record, he has convictions for illegal attachment of license plates and failure to display a valid inspection sticker, both in 2008.
Panzino was involved in an accident in 2008 when he backed into a parked vehicle on Elm Street in Lewiston. No one was injured in that collision and Panzino was not charged.