Police use stun gun on allegedly combative man

A South Williamsport police officer responding to a report of a prowler, in the 900 block of West Southern Avenue in the early morning hours of March 20, encountered Matthew S. Witmer, asleep in the passenger seat of a green Chevrolet Impala, “slouched over and drooling on himself,” according to an affidavit.

Witmer, 28, of 477 Bayard St., South Williamsport, upon being awakened by the police officer, greeted him allegedly with obscenities and refused the officer’s orders to exit the vehicle. When Witmer did exit the vehicle so the officer could detain him, he allegedly attempted to strike the officer several times with closed fists, police said.

In response, the officer stepped back to avoid Witmer and drew his stun gun, after which Witmer allegedly advanced toward the officer in another attempt to strike him. At that time, the officer stunned Witmer and took him into custody, but not without further incident. Witmer allegedly spit in the face of another officer who was assisting in the arrest, the affidavit said.

When Witmer was transported to police headquarters, he still was combative and police were forced to carry him to the holding cell, where he “would yell and scream at the cell walls.” The affidavit said Witmer “appeared heavily under the influence of an unknown intoxicant.”

Following his Sunday arraignment before District Judge Allen P. Page III on charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, resisting arrest, loitering and prowling at night time, disorderly conduct, and public drunkenness, Witmer was committed to Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $25,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear before Page for a preliminary hearing on April 7.