Altoona police officer fined for disorderly conduct outside concert

February 28, 2014
Matthew Plummer

An Altoona police officer who was charged last fall with assaulting a concertgoer at First Niagara Pavilion pleaded guilty Friday in Washington County Court to a third-degree misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct and was fined $1,000.

Matthew J. Plummer, 27, appeared before Judge Gary Gilman in a brief proceeding.

There was no discussion of the circumstances surrounding the charge, except for the judge saying there would be “no further penalty for this offense.”

An aggravated assault charge was withdrawn at his preliminary hearing in October.

Plummer was incarcerated in Washington County jail before being released on $5,000 bond in conjunction with the Sept. 7 incident.

There was no mention of Plummer’s status with the Altoona Police Department in court. Plummer was charged with assaulting Thomas Andrews while the two were at the Hanover Township venue for the ZZ Top and Kid Rock concert.

Andrews reportedly “mooned” several people, including Plummer’s wife, who was on a bus in the parking lot with her husband. Plummer reportedly heard something hit the bus.

When Plummer got off the bus, he told police he was confronted by Andrews, and when Plummer asked Andrews what his problem was, Andrews reportedly became agitated.

Andrews reportedly tried to hit Plummer in the face, police stated in court records.

Plummer told police he felt threatened and hit Andrews once in the face, knocking him to the ground.

Andrews, 42, of Moundsville, W.Va., spent several days being treated at UPMC-Presbyterian hospital in Pittsburgh.

He appeared for a preliminary hearing in September wearing a neck brace.

Police cited him with disorderly conduct for his actions at the concert, and Havelka found him guilty of summary disorderly conduct and imposed a fine, on which $35 is still due.

Plummer, an Altoona police officer since 2009, has been assigned to desk duty since the incident.

“Now that we have a final disposition on this case, the city manager and I will be doing a final review of our investigation to determine what disciplinary action may result from this,” Altoona police Chief Janice Freehling said Friday afternoon.

Barbara S. Miller covers politics, Washington County government and a variety of other topics for the Observer-Reporter. She is a graduate of Washington & Jefferson College, majoring in English and history. Follow her on Twitter @reporterbarb.

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