Police officer arrested at First Niagara Pavilion

September 9, 2013

An off-duty police officer from Altoona was arrested Saturday night by Hanover Township police after he allegedly assaulted another patron at First Niagara Pavilion.

Matthew Jeffery Plummer, 27, of Altoona, was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly hitting Thomas Andrews in the face after a disturbance in the parking lot, police said.

Andrews reportedly exposed his buttocks to several people, including Plummer’s wife, who were on a bus in the parking lot, police said.

Plummer told Hanover police that he heard a loud noise as something struck the side of the bus. As Plummer got out of his seat to see what hit the bus, he said he saw Andrews drop his pants and expose himself. Plummer said he then got out of the bus as the driver called the police.

Plummer told police that Andrews confronted him outside the bus. When Plummer asked Andrews what his problem was, the other man reportedly became confrontational. Andrews allegedly screamed that he had not hit the bus with a bottle.

Andrews reportedly tried to hit Plummer in the face, but missed, police indicated in court documents. Plummer, who told police he felt threatened, struck Andrews once in the face, police said, knocking the man to the ground. James Brantner, who also was on the bus, told Hanover police he saw Plummer on top of the other man and pulled him off.

Andrews was taken to UPMC-Presbyterian hospital in Pittsburgh for treatment. Police said he will be charged with disorderly conduct for reportedly causing the disturbance.

Police said no one on the bus saw Andrews hit the vehicle with a bottle.

Plummer has been a member of the Altoona police department since 2009. Altoona police Chief Janice Freehling said Monday that she could not comment on the matter since it is a personnel issue.

Acting Hanover police Chief Stan Henry said Plummer did not give the arresting officer any problems.

“It is just an unfortunate incident,” Henry said.

ZZ Top and Kid Rock performed at the venue Saturday night.

Plummer was arraigned before District Judge Robert Redlinger on a charge of aggravated assault and released after posting $5,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 23 before District Judge Gary Havelka.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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