Sunbury man accused of assaulting grandmother out of hospital
SUNBURY - Erick Trometter, discharged from Geisinger Medical Center in Danville Tuesday morning with a policeman's bullet still in his hip, was taken by family to his mother's house in Elizabethville before being picked up by a Northumberland County constable and arraigned on assault charges involving one of his grandmothers.
Several hours later, Trometter, who was shot by then-acting Sunbury Police Chief Brad Hare last month after the alleged assault, was in Northumberland County Prison.
His stay there, however, may be short.
District Judge Benjamin Apfelbaum, after consulting with Trometter's attorney, James Best, and District Attorney Ann Targonski, made his $200,000 bail "unsecured," which means no actual cash is needed to be released. But he'll be kept in prison until a home monitoring system can be installed at Trometter's mother's house and his medical needs are properly met, authorities said. It's not clear how long that might take.
Upon his release from prison, Trometter must comply with all stipulations involved with his supervised bail established by the county probation and parole department. The judge said Trometter will be confined to his mother's home and property and will only be allowed to leave for medical and legal appointments.
Apfelbaum said it is unusual for a defendant to be imprisoned on unsecured bail, but he said the circumstances call for it.
There was no explanation Tuesday why Trometter was discharged from Geisinger before law enforcement was notified. It was not known if his 67-year-old grandmother, Amanda Trometter, who he is accused of assaulting at their Sunbury home July 9, was aware her grandson was discharged.
Amanda Trometter, who was granted in late July a protection from abuse order against her grandson for three years, is no longer living at her former residence. Her current whereabouts were not revealed by authorities for security reasons.
When asked about the incident late Tuesday afternoon, Geisinger spokesman Mike Ferlazzo said via e-mail, "Geisinger had no prior arrangement with law enforcement to be notified of this patient's release." He added Trometter was not guarded and HIPAA laws apply when prisoners are admitted to hospitals.
When contacted Tuesday night, Sunbury Mayor Dave Persing, who oversees the police department, said, "It was my understanding that our officers were supposed to be notified when Mr. Trometter was being released. I don't know what the exact procedures are for that or who may have been at fault. But our officers were planning to serve him with an arrest warrant upon his immediate release."
Stopped at station
Trometter, who spoke freely with the media at his arraignment, said his mother, Tammy Trometter, and his other grandmother Roxie Stoneroad, picked him up at the hospital at about 10:30 a.m. He said they stopped by the Sunbury police station en route from the hospital to inquire about getting his belongings from his former home in Sunbury. Erick Trometter said he did not go into the station. He claimed his family members were told they'd have to consult with a constable about getting his belongings.
It was sometime after that visit to the station that Sunbury police dispatched Constable Butch Showers to Elizabethville. Showers said he first picked up a state police trooper at the Lykens barracks outside Elizabethville, then found Trometter in the driveway of his mother's home and took him into custody without incident.
Showers said Trometter talked to him about hunting and fishing during their trip to Sunbury and was well-behaved.
Erick Trometter was charged by Sunbury police July 9 with a felony of aggravated assault, a misdemeanor of simple assault and a summary offense of harassment for the incident involving Amanda Trometter. Charges related to the confrontation with Hare are pending.
Police said Erick Trometter had a large fillet knife when Hare saw him walking along Mile Post Road near Shikellamy Avenue. There was a warrant for his arrest related to the alleged assault.
Hare attempted to take him into custody, but Erick Trometter resisted, police said, and continued to struggle with Hare after being shot with a Taser three times. Hare then fired his gun, with the bullet striking him in the abdomen area.
Erick Trometter was initially hospitalized in critical condition.