Jump leaves inmate unconscious

EBENSBURG – A Cambria County Prison inmate was taken to a hospital after jumping over a third floor railing at the county courthouse Monday morning, county officials said.

The inmate, identified as Akeem Tyson Rhine, 19, of Johnstown was initially disruptive during his hearing, Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan said.

As sheriff’s deputies removed Rhine from the courtroom, Rhine attempted to jump over a third floor stairway railing, President Judge Timothy Creany said.

Deputies caught Rhine by the shirt, but he broke loose and proceeded to jump from the second floor to the first floor before he was subdued, Creany said.

The district attorney requested the state police and the Attorney General’s Office investigate the incident, Callihan said.

“We are cooperating with the investigation since a member of my staff is a witness to some of the events that occurred,” Callihan said Monday.

Rhine was unconscious and taken by ambulance to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, Johnstown, Creany said.

He was in court Monday on charges of indirect criminal contempt of a protection-from-abuse order, Callihan said.

Court administration officials confirmed Rhine was in the courthouse Monday morning.

Rhine was arrested March 11 and charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and harassment, according to online court documents.

He was scheduled to be returned to jail and then released following the hearing, Creany said.

“It’s my understanding he was going to be taken back and released,” Creany said.

His condition was unknown as of Monday evening.

Cambria County Sheriff Bob Kolar had the day off and was not at the courthouse during the incident, Deputy Sheriff Tracy Swope said.

The sheriff’s office deferred all questions to Ebensburg Borough police, who did not return calls for comment.

Online court documents show Rhine is scheduled to appear before Magisterial District Judge Michael J. Musulin on March 26 in connection with the assault charges.

Officials did not know if additional charges would be filed against him stemming from Monday’s incident at the courthouse.

Mirror Staff Writer Zach Geiger is at 946-7535.