Man charge with grabbing officer waives hearing right
SHAMOKIN - A Coal Township man accused of aggravated assault after allegedly grabbing a police officer in a threatening manner waived his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday.
Jeffrey Burns, 47, of 118 N. Poplar St., waived a felony count of aggravated assault and misdemeanors of simple assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness before Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III, of Shamokin.
Burns was charged following a domestic disturbance at his residence by Coal Township Police Patrolman Edward Purcell Jr. at 10:40 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5.
According to police, officers were dispatched to Burns' residence for a domestic dispute. Deputy Chief Chris Williams, the first officer to arrive, 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.
Gembic ordered Burns to appear for plea court on Monday, March 25, at the Northumberland County Courthouse, where he can either plead guilty or no contest to the charges, or plead not guilty and seek a trial.