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Multiple people arrested on assault charges in Lycoming County

Assault-related charges have been lodged against Muncy resident Robert Alan Burke after he allegedly “swung a fire poker within four to six feet” of a neighbor, according to borough Patrolman David Williams Jr.

The neighbor was Rob Ritter, and the incident occurred on Bruner Street about 7:40 a.m. on July 20, Williams said.

Ritter told police that Burke, 63, of 4 Bruner St., allegedly threatened to smash out the windows to Ritter’s truck as he was holding the the fire poker., Williams said.

When officers arrived, Burke had already retreated, going back in his house, Williams said, adding that officers surrounded Burke’s home “due to prior calls with him. Burke has made a statement in the past about barricading himself and still having access to firearms,” the officers said in an affidavit.

After officers made numerous attempts to contact him by phone, Burke finally came out of the house, Williams said.

“Burke was asked if he had any weapons on him. He replied that he did not know. ‘You tell me,’ “ Williams said.

“He was patted down and his belongings were placed in an envelope. A pocketknife was seized for safekeeping” since he was going to be taken to a hospital to be evaluated, Williams said.

At his arraignment last week before District Judge Jerry Lepley on charges of recklessly endangering, simple assault, disorderly conduct and harassment, Burke told the judge “My neighbor lied to the police.” He was committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $10,000 bail.

In another assault case, William Zimmerman, 53, and his girlfriend, Brenda Phillips, 45, both 2178 Green Valley Road, Hughesville, were each charged with simple assault and harassment for allegedly striking one another in their 2004 Toyota Highlander as they were traveling in the 4100 block of Moreland Baptist Road in Franklin Township about 8 p.m. Saturday, according to state Trooper Jacob Hook.

While being treated in the back of an ambulance for arm and facial injuries, Phillips told Hook “that she and her boyfriend got into a physical altercation while driving home. She couldn’t remember who hit who first,” according to the trooper’s affidavit.

Zimmerman told the trooper that Phillips struck him a couple of times while driving and he then “struck her back multiple times,” the affidavit stated. Zimmerman suffered “a bloody laceration to the right cheek and a laceration to the right arm,” Hook said.

Zimmerman and Phillips were arraigned before District Judge William Solomon and released on $15,000 bail each.

Also arraigned by Solomon over the weekend on assault-related charges was Maria Arreola-Pena, 29. of 1446 Memorial Ave., who allegedly struck Tessa Sutton, of the same address, repeatedly in the face and “would not allow her to leave or get away” during a disturbance at their home about 4 a.m. Sunday, according to city Patrolman Damon Cole.

Sutton told police that Arreola-Pena “came home intoxicated and that a verbal argument between the two quickly turned physical,” Cole said in an affidavit.

Unable to get out of the house, Sutton got a bat to defend herself, Cole said, adding that Arreola-Pena then got a knife and allegedly cut Sutton, causing “a small scrape on her left arm.”

Charged with simple assault and harassment, Arreola-Pena was jailed in lieu of $25,000 bail.

Another woman in trouble with the law was Dana Mann, 24, of 500 Lycoming St., apartment 9-J, who faces charges of simple assault, terroristic threats, disorderly conduct and harassment following a disturbance on Randall Circle, according to state Trooper Troy Hansen.

Mann went to a residence about 2:30 a.m. on July 21 and accused a woman “of having an affair with the father of Mann’s baby,” Hansen alleged in an affidavit.

Mann pounded on the front door and allegedly told the woman several times that she was going to kill her, Hansen said. Fearing for her safety, the resident, not identified in court papers, ran upstairs to her bathroom and called 911. Mann was taken into custody at the scene.

Arraigned before District Judge Gary Whiteman, Mann, initially jailed, is free on $25,000 bail.

Whiteman also arraigned two people in separate drug cases, including Brandon Bauman, who was so nervous when South Williamsport police conducted a traffic stop of his 2006 Buick in front of his home last week that he began “shaking uncontrollably and sweating profusely,” borough Patrolman Gareck Esposito said in an affidavit.

Bauman, 20, of 2042 Whitford Ave., failed to use a turn signal as he pulled from the driving lane to the curb to park about 9:50 p.m. on July 30, Esposito said.

“The more I continued to speak with him, the more nervous and more sweaty he became,” the officer said of Bauman.

Two other officers arrived on the scene to assist Esposito. One of them spotted that he suspected was marijuana on the front passenger seat.

“Bauman denied it was marijuana. He claimed it was a leaf from doing landscaping earlier in the day,” Esposito said.

“Due to the totality of the circumstances, a request was made to have the city police dog, Tacoma, respond to the scene,” the officer said. The dog is trained to detect certain controlled substances. The dog had “a positive alert on the vehicle,” the officer added.

On the the floor of the rear passenger side, the officers located a large pretzel container “containing a large amount of leaf marijuana” that was in metal grinder, Esposito said. Close to an estimated 400 grams of marijuana was seized as a result of the search, he added.

Charged with possession with intent to deliver marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, Bauman was initially jailed, but has since been released on $50,000 bail.

In the other case, Tanner Lucas, 21, of 380 Tallman Hollow Road, Montoursville, was charged by state Trooper Ernest Capobianco with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia following an incident on Interstate 180 in Loyalsock Township about 12:10 a.m. on May 24.

Lucas was a passenger in a car that was stopped for motor vehicle code violations. He was released on $5,000 bail.

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