Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Accused Green Hornet assailant released from state hospital

Lape still faces assault and telephone harassment charges

Express Staff Writer

Howard Joseph Lape

A Hailey man accused of assaulting the former star of the 1960s Green Hornet television series has been released from a state hospital and is currently free on bond.

Howard Joseph Lape, 49, was released last week from an involuntary commitment to State Hospital South in Blackfoot, where he was sent in early March for treatment and evaluation following a hearing in Blaine County 5th District Court.

Lape still faces a charge of felony aggravated assault for allegedly throwing a 6.5 pound metal fire extinguisher at Van Williams, the former star of "The Green Hornet" television series, which aired in 1965-66. The alleged altercation followed a minor traffic accident on March 1 on state Highway 75 south of Ketchum.

Williams, now 73, lives north of Hailey.

In an unrelated incident, Lape also faces a charge of misdemeanor telephone harassment for allegedly making threatening and abusive telephone calls to a Ketchum woman.

According to 5th District Court records, the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office has filed 17 criminal complaints against Lape since the beginning of 2003.

Following release from State Hospital South, Lape was transported to the Blaine County Jail. According to jail records he has since posted bond and is no longer in custody.

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