APD officer facing assault charges

A 27-year-old off-duty Altoona police officer was jailed briefly in Washington County over the weekend after being charged with aggravated assault after a Kid Rock concert in Burgettstown.

According to public records at the Washington County Prison, Matthew Plummer was arrested by the Hanover Township, Washington County, police.

He was committed to the county prison at 6:01 a.m. Sunday and released just after 8:16 a.m.

He was required to post $5,000 cash bond.

State court records for Washington County indicate the arresting officer was Ryan Douglas Chimile.

He charged Plummer with a section of the crimes code stating a person is guilty of aggravated assault if he:

“Attempts to cause bodily injury to another, or causes such injury intentionally, knowingly or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.”

Plummer’s preliminary arraignment occurred a 4:55 a.m. Sunday. The Magisterial District Judge was listed as Gary H. Havelka.

Initially, Plummer was unable to post bail, the records indicated.

The circumstances of what led to Plummer’s arrest have not been released publicly.

Repeated calls to the Hanover Township Police Department on Sunday went unanswered.

Altoona city officials also were not available for explanation.

Mayor William Schirf said he was aware of the situation but knew none of the specifics.

He referred questions about what occurred to the people at city hall responsible for personnel, in this case, Manager Omar Strohm and Altoona police Chief Janice Freehling.

Freehling was not available for comment. Strohm has an unlisted number. The mayor suggested Strohm would be available in his office today.

Also, none of the top-ranking officials were in the police department Sunday evening.

The situation with Plummer comes just weeks after Blair County Judge Timothy M. Sullivan concluded his hearing of cases against two off-duty city officers, Duane Eichenlaub and Eric Kriner, for their assaults of two men in Pellegrine’s Lounge on Memorial Day 2010.

The assault case took years to investigate by state police and a statewide grand jury because the two officers urged colleagues called to the Lounge because of the assaults to cover up the incident.

Kriner ended up on probation while Eichenlaub received a yearlong jail term, which he is now serving.

Mirror staff writer Phil Ray is at 946-7468. Mirror Reporter Greg Bock contributed to this story.