SUNBURY - Erick R. Trometter, who hobbled into his arraignment Tuesday with a walker, maintained his innocence and discussed his wounds during an impromptu interview with two newspaper reporters in Magisterial District Judge Benjamin Apfelbaum's courtroom.

The 23-year-old former Sunbury resident who now resides with his mother at 77 Mayfield St., Elizabethville, claimed he never assaulted his grandmother, Amanda Trometter, July 9. He was later shot by then-acting Sunbury Police Chief Brad Hare just outside the city limits.

Trometter also claimed he heard the victim at the scene and spotted her truck.

The defendant, who still had plastic medical bracelets on his wrists after being discharged from Geisinger Medical Center in Danville earlier in the day, said the assault charges filed against him are "bogus."

He didn't comment on pending charges involving his altercation with Hare when Trometter allegedly approached the officer with a large fillet knife, but said he didn't follow the officer's instructions.

"I had a knife with me and I didn't put it down when he told me to," he said. "I didn't go after him (Hare). He warned me that he would shoot if I didn't put the knife down. But I didn't do anything wrong."

Trometter, who is 6 feet tall and weighs approximately 270 pounds, claimed Hare hit him with a Taser once, while missing a second time. A state police report indicated Hare deployed his Taser three times on Trometter.

Trometter then discussed his injuries, even though his attorney, James Best, advised him not to talk to the media.

Trometter told the reporters, "Write whatever you want."

Bullet still in hip

The defendant, who was ordered by Apfelbaum to appear for a preliminary hearing at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, said the bullet fired by Hare struck him in the abdomen and was still lodged in his left hip area. He said the bullet struck a major artery in his left leg, causing it to bleed profusely and cutting off all circulation. He said doctors had to cut open his left leg to insert an artery from his right leg. Trometter said he also underwent skin grafts on his legs and needs follow-up care.

Trometter said the bandages covering the bullet hole need to be changed twice a day. The defendant said he requires 24-hour supervision due to his injuries.

He was wearing white compression stockings on both legs to avoid potential blood clots and heavy red socks on top of the stockings.

Wearing a blue shirt and blue-striped shorts and sporting a beard, he appeared in pain while he walked slowly from Constable Butch Showers' car into the back of Apfelbaum's office for his arraignment. He was later committed to the county prison until a monitoring system can be set up at his mother's home.

Best requested Apfelbaum to release Trometter because of his medical needs and the unsanitary conditions at the county jail. "I'm concerned about his well-being at the prison," he said. "He wouldn't receive the proper care and his health and life would be in danger."

Noting the seriousness of the charges against his client, Best said he appreciated the judge's decision to release Trometter to his mother's home once the proper monitoring system and health care needs are established.

Trometter told the judge he has been unemployed for about three years after previously having a job in sales. He is single and has no children. He admitted previously spending time in the county jail on a simple assault charge for stabbing Amanda Trometter in the shoulder area with a spoon.

Trometter said he was born in Florida, but has lived in Pennsylvania most of his life.