Coal Twp. man faces felony for allegedly grabbing officer's coat
COAL TOWNSHIP - A 47-year-old Coal Township man who allegedly grabbed the jacket of a police officer in a threatening manner after being involved in a fight with an Allentown resident outside his home late Tuesday night faces multiple criminal charges, including a felony of aggravated assault.
Jeffrey D. Burns, of 118 N. Poplar St., was arraigned at 10 a.m. Wednesday by Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III on charges of aggravated assault and misdemeanors of simple assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness in connection with the 10:40 p.m. disturbance.
He was committed to Northumberland County Prison in lieu of $50,000 cash bail.
According to a criminal complaint filed by Coal Township Patrolman Edward Purcell, officers were dispatched to Burns' residence for a domestic dispute. Deputy Chief Chris Williams, who was the first officer to arrive at the scene, and Purcell observed Burns and Jose Montalban, of Allentown, fighting in the vicinity of Poplar and Walnut streets. Purcell said he saw Montalban punch Burns in the face.
After Purcell called Shamokin police for assistance, Williams was able to separate the combatants. But Montalban then came toward Purcell while cursing and yelling and waving his arms in the air. Police said Montalban claimed Burns had struck a woman he identified as a grandmother.
Montalban was told to stop "acting out" or he would be arrested. Police said Montalban continued to yell and curse before Purcell grabbed his jacket and restrained him against a vehicle until he calmed down.
After settling Montalban down, Burns came toward Purcell and started yelling and cursing about Montalban punching him. Purcell said Burns continued to come toward him and other people in an aggressive manner. Purcell, who noticed Burns was bleeding from the nose, said he attempted to ward off the defendant, but Burns grabbed his jacket and attempted to push him backward before the officer was able to grab Burns by his coat and spin him around onto the ground.
Purcell reported Burns continued to resist arrest, and Purcell had to use substantial force to keep him under control.
Police said Burns still resisted arrest while Williams handcuffed him. Shamokin Patrolman Jarrod Scandle assisted Williams, and Burns was transported to Coal Township Police Station.
Police, who are continuing their investigation, said charges may be filed against Montalban.