The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

August 17, 2013

Koscinski charged in attack on Jim Wildman

Neighbors, cops describe how ex-player allegedly assaulted coach

The Herald

— Joseph K. Koscinski seemed “OK” when he showed up in the quiet Bentley Avenue neighborhood Sunday afternoon looking for Sharon Football Coach Jim Wildman, one of Wildman’s neighbors, David LeMon, told police.

Koscinski, 38, of 200 Logan Ave., Suite B, Sharon, played for the coach during Wildman’s heyday in the 1990s, alongside David LeMon and his brother Douglas LeMon.

Because the LeMons pointed Koscinski to Wildman’s house, David LeMon told police he felt “partially responsible” for the subsequent attack that took place, which left Wildman’s ear “bitten in half” by Koscinski, according to the affidavit of probable cause police filed against Koscinski.

On Friday, Koscinski was charged with aggravated assault, burglary, reckless endangering and making terroristic threats for the attack on Wildman.

He’s being held in Mercer County Jail on $200,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday before District Judge Dennis M. Songer.

Koscinski was arraigned after he was released from the hospital, where he’d spent the week under police guard, recovering from injuries he sustained in the attack.

On Sunday afternoon, Koscinski showed up in the neighborhood, just a few blocks from Tiger Stadium, and asked the LeMons where “Coach Wildman’s” house was, and they told him “down on the corner.” He “appeared fine” at the time, the LeMons told police.

A few minutes later, at 4:09 p.m., Koscinski showed up at Wildman’s door and cursed when he told Wildman to come outside, police said.

Wildman told Koscinski he didn’t know him and closed the glass storm door, which Koscinski then shattered, police said.

Wildman yelled for his wife, who was upstairs resting and asked her to “call the police.”

Koscinski choked Wildman with “a bare hand around his throat,” police said, adding that Koscinski was yelling “I’m going to choke you,” and “Can you breathe now?”

Wildman told police that was when he felt Koscinski biting his left ear “severely.”

The LeMons heard the ruckus and “it didn’t sound right,” David LeMon told police.

Both brothers went to Wildman’s house, saw the door off its hinges, and came to the former coach’s aid.

When the LeMons burst onto the scene, they saw Koscinski choking Wildman “so hard Wildman’s face was white,” they told police.

He was yelling “Confess your sins! Confess your sins!” as he choked him, David LeMon said.

David LeMon grabbed Koscinski by his neck, and Douglas LeMon grabbed Koscinski’s hands, pulling him off Wildman and restraining him.

Sharon Police Lt. Gerald Smith also lives on the street, and he came onto the scene and radioed for police and an ambulance.

Police found Wildman “covered in blood,” which was spattered on his face, head, chest and left arm.

Koscinski was being held down by the LeMons, who were also bloodied, police said.

The attack happened the day before football practice began.

Wildman is in the process of returning to coaching after an 11-year retirement left him yearning for the sidelines.

When he initially retired in 2002 after a quarter-century stint as head coach at Sharon, he’d compiled a then-record 208 wins during his tenure.

In February, Sharon school board members gave Wildman a three-year contract to return to the sidelines this fall.

When he was rehired, Wildman, now 66, described himself as “65 going on 43.”

During the 1990s his teams tallied 103 victories. He is a member of both the Mercer County (2003) and Pennsylvania (2000) sports halls of fame.