A deaf resident at a group mental health home cornered an employee Saturday night and held her at knifepoint for nearly 30 minutes until city police arrived, disarmed her with a Taser gun and took her into custody.
Lareta E. Sandler, 61, a resident of a community services group mental home at 117 Guinter Ave., faces charges of aggravated and simple assault, unlawful restraint and terroristic threats.
Guinter Avenue is just north of Brandon Park and runs east-west.
The employee was very shaken up by the ordeal but not injured, police said.
Police rushed to the house about 6:45 p.m. after another home aide was able to call 911.
When police arrived, Sandler was wielding a knife with a 7-inch-long, serrated blade in her left hand that was extended out and pointed at the employee, who was backed into a kitchen corner.
An officer ordered Sandler several times to drop the knife, but she couldn't hear or understand him. Once the officer deployed a Taser gun, Sandler dropped the knife and was arrested.
She was taken before District Judge James G. Carn, who ruled her unfit for arraignment after being told that she had refused to eat or take her medications.
Sandler could not comprehend what was happening because there was no sign language expert available to communicate with her. She was placed in the Lycoming County Prison and remained there Monday night, still waiting to be arraigned.