City officer facing charges asks for trial

An Altoona police officer who faces a disorderly conduct charge for a September incident at a concert in Washington County now wants to go to trial on charges of disorderly conduct and aggravated assault, according to his Altoona attorney, Steven P. Passarello.

The deciding factor, said Passarello, was that officer Matthew Plummer, 27, has not yet heard from Altoona City Council or other city officials as to what a plea to the disorderly conduct charge might mean

to Plummer’s future with the department.

Asked if Plummer wanted to remain with the police department, the attorney replied “absolutely.”

In October, Plummer appeared in a Washington County court for a preliminary hearing stemming from an altercation in the parking lot of the First Niagara Pavilion, near Burgettstown, Hanover Township.

The confrontation allegedly occurred following a Sept. 7 concert that was attended by Plummer and several other Blair County police officers.

Plummer was in a bus waiting to return to Blair County when someone allegedly tossed a beer bottle against a bus window.

While no one was arrested for tossing the beer bottle, Plummer allegedly confronted a man in the parking lot who he saw was mooning the bus passengers.

Plummer, it was charged, struck Thomas Andrews, 41, of Moundsville, W.Va.

Passarello contended that Plummer responded to Andrews’ attempts to hit him. It was a one-punch fight, and Plummer acted in self defense, the defense attorney has contended.

Rather than hold a preliminary hearing in October, the prosecution and defense agreed that assault charges against Plummer should be dropped, but he was to plead to misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

That plea was supposed to be entered Friday, but, Passarello said it has been withdrawn, and the case has been placed on the Washington County trial list.

Mirror Staff Writer Phil Ray is at 946-7468.