Plummer allegedly punched man
An off-duty Altoona police officer was with “a bus load of cops and 911 dispatchers” Saturday, the driver said, when the officer allegedly punched a man in the face at a Pittsburgh-area Kid Rock concert.
Matthew Plummer, 27, faces an aggravated assault charge after his punch caused the man to fall to the ground, bleeding from the mouth, police in Hanover Township, Washington County, said in an affidavit.
The alleged victim was transported to a Pittsburgh hospital for treatment, police said.
The fight began shortly before midnight Saturday at a First Niagara Pavilion concert featuring Kid Rock, ZZ Top and Uncle Kracker, police said.
Passengers on a tour bus heard something strike a window, and when Plummer looked outside, he saw a man exposing his
buttocks to the passengers, he told police. Plummer walked outside while the driver prepared to call police, officers said in the affidavit.
“He asked [the alleged victim] what his problem was, why he had just struck the side of the bus with a bottle and why he was exposing himself,” police said.
The man angrily denied having thrown a bottle, police said.
The man then swung at Plummer, officers said, and missed. Plummer allegedly punched him in the face.
He fell to the ground, bleeding, officers said. Another passenger, identified as Blair County Sheriff’s Deputy James Brantner, told police he pulled Plummer away from the alleged victim.
Hanover Township police said no one on the bus, including driver Clarence Florey Jr., reported having seen the alleged victim throw a bottle.
Police said the man will be charged, however, for exposing himself and causing a disturbance.
In Facebook posts the evening of the concert, Florey called the pavilion a “crazy place.”
“Here I am in Pittsburgh at a ZZ Top and Kid Rock concert with a bus load of cops and 911 dispatchers,” he wrote Saturday. “It is wild for sure.”
Plummer was jailed briefly in Washington County before posting bail Sunday morning.
He faces a charge of aggravated assault, a first-degree felony, with a hearing scheduled Sept. 23 before Magisterial District Judge Gary H. Havelka.
The alleged Saturday fight isn’t the first time Plummer’s name has turned up in connection to violent incidents.
In March 2012, 48-year-old Paul Leon Johnson accused Plummer and another officer of using excessive force
after he allegedly swore at them.
The officers said Johnson had refused to put his hands behind his back after they stopped him at his parked car, but Johnson said they pressed their knees into his back and pepper-sprayed him.
In June, a judge found Johnson guilty of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Last September, Plummer suffered shoulder injuries and broken bones in his hand while restraining a combative suspect, police said.
It was unclear Monday whether Plummer remained on active duty after the alleged weekend assault.
“It’s a personnel issue. I have no comment,” Mayor Bill Schirf said Monday.
City Manager Omar Strohm and Altoona Police Chief Janice Freehling did not return calls seeking comment.
Plummer did not answer calls Monday at an Altoona home number.
Florey did not answer calls at a Bellefonte number.