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Man Who Crashed Stolen Truck Into Bar Gets 35 Years

Westlake, OH - A man accused of crashing a stolen car into a Westlake bar, injuring a dozen people, was sentenced to more than 35 years in prison Monday. Brandon Pawlak, 26, was found guilty of 30 of 32 counts against him last week. He and Matthew Sowden, 26, were arrested after police said Pawlak stole a pickup truck and crashed it through Dover Gardens Tavern on Detroit Road. A dozen people were injured after the crash, one bartender needed three surgeries. Pawlak was sentenced to serve 35 years and six months in the Lorain Correctional Institution. Pawlak apologized to the victims but maintained that he was not the driver of the truck that struck the bar. The judge said that she had seen the tape of the crash, and said that she saw him climb out of the truck after the crash. "It's insulting at the very least for many of them to hear you say that you're sorry to them, but on the other hand that you're not the person responsible."The judge listed Pawlak's criminal history, which include charges of gross sexual imposition, domestic violence and grand theft, before announcing his sentence of more than 35 years.

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