Police: Woman brutally assaulted

Witness allegedly saw man grab wife, smash her head on pavement

An Altoona man is in jail after what police describe as a brutal assault of his estranged wife.

Steven S. Snowden, 50, was arrested by Altoona police Wednesday night after he allegedly assaulted his wife, who had a protection-from-abuse order against him, in the family’s garage on the 200 block of First Avenue.

According to Altoona police detective Lt. Ben Jones, the woman suffered serious head injuries and was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital for treatment.

Snowden went to the home to talk to his wife, parking a block a way and entered through a garage door so neighbors would not call police, Snowden allegedly told officers after he was taken into custody.

Snowden and his wife argued in the garage because Snowden thought she was sleeping with other men, police said, and he claimed he pushed her and she fell backward and struck her head on a snowblower.

A witness who allegedly saw the incident through the garage’s open door told police that Snowden grabbed his wife by the shoulders and repeatedly smashed her head on the pavement. Snowden ran off after the couple’s teenage children intervened, police said. Police said Snowden was seen dragging his unconscious wife back into the garage, but he then ran off when he was confronted by one of their children.

When police arrived after 911 was called about 9 p.m., officers found Snowden’s wife on the pavement directly behind the garage. She was unconscious and vomiting, and her face was covered in blood, police noted.

Bystanders described a man in his 50s, wearing a white T-shirt running from the scene, and police ultimately found Snowden locked inside a room on the 1000 block of Eighth Avenue where he was staying. Police said he was preparing to climb a ladder to hide on the roof of the building when officers arrived at his locked door. Snowden opened the door for officers as they prepared to break it open.

Snowden was arraigned on felony charges of aggravated assault and flight to avoid apprehension along with misdemeanor counts of simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.

Bail was set at $25,000 cash by Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Auker, and Snowden remains in Blair County Prison with a preliminary hearing slated for Wednesday at Central Court.

Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.