New Castle News

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July 8, 2014

Police: Man dies trying to help friend ‘who had too much to drink’

SHARPSVILLE — Police said a Sharpsville man killed his friend while fighting off his attempts to drive him home from a bar.

“Two friends, one had too much to drink on a holiday,” Police Chief Keith A. Falasco said. “The other trying to get him home and that’s what it turned into.”

Fred Earl Abbott, 36, of 2909 William Ave., started drinking alcohol “early” on Friday. He told police he had downed 10 to 12 beers by 3:30 p.m. when he drove himself to the Sharpsville American Legion on West Main Street.

Abbott told police he and Charles David Frederick, 50, of 2010 Powers Ave., Sharpsville, were “joking around” when he kneed Frederick in the stomach, causing him to fall across his car onto the ground and die.

Hospital personnel said Frederick recently had undergone heart surgery and may have had complications, police reported.

Abbott was charged with misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter, simple assault and public drunkenness

“We’re sure this is what happened,” Falasco said. “The charges could change pending autopsy, but I don’t think there will be any surprises.”

“We’re still trying to get through to people that drinking too much is against the law,” Falasco said. “Public drunkenness, people don’t understand. Here’s someone who drank too much and this happens.”

Witnesses told police multiple people offered Abbott a ride home after he had three or four beers and got “shut off” by the bartender. They said Abbott and Frederick were friends and Frederick got Abbott to leave the club, according to police.

Once in the parking lot, the men were between their two cars when Abbott started calling Frederick names and refused to get into his car before he kneed him, which caused his death, police said.

Police found Frederick about 8:30 p.m. lying in the parking lot, bleeding from his mouth and nose and without a pulse, police said. Abbott was kneeling over him and, when interviewed, appeared to be highly intoxicated, police said.

Abbott was taken to the Mercer County jail after failing to post $100,000 bond.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Friday in front of District Judge Dennis A. Songer.

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