Bail for woman charged in disturbance unchanged
SHAMOKIN - A 19-year-old city woman charged with fighting with Shamokin police, smashing a window on a police cruiser and spitting on two officers last month was recommitted to the county jail Tuesday morning after a judge refused to reduce her bail at a preliminary hearing.
Marissa Diane Birster, of 11 S. Market St., Apt. 3, waived her right to a preliminary hearing and was ordered by Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III to appear for plea court Feb. 25 at Northumberland County Courthouse, where she can plead guilty or no contest, or seek a trial by pleading not guilty.
Gembic rejected Birster's request to reduce her $20,000 cash bail and she was returned to the county prison, where she has been incarcerated since Dec. 12.
Birster did not have an attorney at her hearing. Northumberland County Assistant District Attorney Michael Toomey represented the commonwealth.
Birster was charged by Shamokin Patrolman Scott Weaver with a felony of aggravated harassment by a prisoner, misdemeanors of resisting arrest, institutional vandalism, tampering with evidence, disorderly conduct (three counts) and simple assault, and summaries of criminal mischief, theft by unlawful taking and underage drinking.
The charges relate to disturbances at 1:44 a.m. Dec. 12 outside 707 W. Chestnut St. and Shamokin Police Station. Birster's sister, Stormie Birster, of 27 E. Sunbury St., Apt. 3, Shamokin, also was cited for disorderly conduct in connection with the incidents.
In addition to the disturbance at the apartment, police said Marissa broke the framework on the rear door of the police cruiser and pushed the glass outward and spit on Ralpho Township Officer Steve Spade, who was trying to stop her from damaging the vehicle.
Marissa continued to struggle with officers and refused demands to stop her behavior.
After she was escorted to the Shamokin Police Station, police said Marissa urinated on the floor of the holding cell and took off one of her socks and rubbed it into the urine. While she was rubbing her sock in the urine, Marissa told police she was HIV positive before waving the sock at police.
Upon learning that Marissa had an active bench warrant for her arrest, Shamokin Police Chief Edward Griffiths and Special Officer II Norman Lukoskie responded to the station to transport her to the county prison. Marissa was eventually transported by Griffiths and Lukoskie to the county jail, where she escaped near the front of the prison and ran down the street for approximately a block before being recaptured by Griffiths, who was assisted by Sunbury police.