Police: Pair beat man
Two men face felony charges after police say they beat a man at an Altoona park.
Mark A. Doucette, 38, of 527 Crawford Ave., and Matthew J. Keller, 19, of 609 N. Eighth Ave., both face felony aggravated assault and related charges after an alleged incident Saturday night at Prospect Park, South 15th Street and Crawford Avenue Alley.
According to Altoona police, around 10:30 p.m. Doucette, Keller and two others jumped the baseball field fence at the park and attacked a man who was playing basketball.
The victim allegedly was struck in the back of the head with an object, either a pipe or a piece of wood, by Keller before Doucette hit the man multiple times with a baseball bat, according to police.
The two men with Doucette and Keller – Doucette’s son and another man, who police said held one of the witnesses back during the incident – have not been charged.
Doucette, who is accused of choking the victim of the attack, later told police he just happened upon the incident at the park and broke up the altercation, claiming two masked men were beating the victim, court records show.
Keller’s statement to police after his arrest contradicts Doucette’s story, as does a statement made by the man who police said held back the witness and told him not to get involved.
Keller allegedly told police he met Doucette, Doucette’s son and another man at the baseball field in the park, was given a piece of wood and told to hit the victim. Keller said they were told the victim was at the park and that Saturday’s attack was retribution for an alleged attack on Keller by the victim a week earlier, police noted.
Keller allegedly told police he hit the victim with a piece of wood before Doucette began striking him with a baseball bat.
Keller’s friend who held back one of the witnesses during the attack later told police Doucette called him and told him about the attack, and picked him up as he headed over to the park.
A witness at the basketball court told police Doucette was one of the attackers and the victim recognized Keller as one of the men who jumped the fence. Police said witnesses described one of the attackers as muscular, with tattoos covering both arms and a “high and tight” military-style hair cut. Doucette matches that description, police pointed out.
Doucette and Keller were both arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Paula Aigner and placed in Blair County Prison in lieu of bail. Doucette posted 10 percent of $25,000 bail Tuesday through a bail bondsman while Keller remains locked up with bail set at $50,000 cash.
A preliminary hearing for the men is slated for June 4 at Central Court before Magisterial District Judge Todd Kelly.