City man charged with aggravated assault of police officer

Copley allegedly grabbed uniform, punched officer in the torso

A man whose wife was found killed in a garage behind a vacant home the couple had considered buying was arraigned on charges of aggravated assault on a police officer who responded to a fight at his residence early Thursday morning.

Michael Copley, 31, was arraigned Thursday before Judge Daniel C. DeAntonio. Copley is in jail on $35,000 cash bail.

Police said Copley assaulted an officer at his residence, 100 E. Pleasant Valley Blvd., as he threatened to attack someone.

Copley is charged with felony aggravated assault, misdemeanor simple assault, obstruction of law enforcement and two counts of resisting arrest and summary counts of harassment and criminal mischief.

Copley and a woman were allegedly fighting at the residence where they both reportedly live.

Stephen Little, who also lives at the residence, intervened, a police report states. He said Copley punched him in the face, and Little called police, the report states.

Altoona police were dispatched before 5 a.m. to the residence and woke Copley to interview him. Copley admitted to punching Little and was irritated that the police were there because of it, the police report stated.

Copley stated he was going to assault Little and started to walk toward an officer near Little. An officer placed his hand on Copley’s chest and told him that was not going to happen.

According to the report, Copley pushed the officer, who then pinned Copley against a wall where Copley grabbed the officer’s uniform and punched the officer’s torso. He would not let go of the officer and was arrested.

Michael’s late wife, Catherine J. (Boob) Copley, 29, went missing in mid-December 2015.

In June 2016, Catherine’s body was found in a garage behind a vacant home on the 400 block of East Pleasant Valley Boulevard.

No arrests have been made in Catherine’s death.

After Copley’s arraignment on the aggravated assault charge Thursday, a Mirror reporter asked Copley whether he killed his wife.

Copley told the reporter to go “(blank) your mother.” Asked again whether he killed his wife, Copley retorted with, “Did I ask you?” before he went into a bathroom.

Outside of the building, he ignored the Mirror as he entered a police car.

The night Catherine went missing, her mother said Michael Copley told her he received a text message from Cathy saying she had gone out and that she would be right back. Cathy’s cellphone and purse, however, were left at the house.

Cathy’s sister, Amy Boob, said Thursday that the investigation of her sister’s death is continuing. She hopes anyone with information about her sister will call police.

“We are hoping eventually there will be something that will come forward to make an arrest for my sister,” she said. “The person who killed her will be brought to justice. No matter how long this takes, we will not give up.”

Cathy’s mother, Catharine Boob, said she is confident that police are mounting evidence against the suspect.

“Police know who did it,” Catharine Boob said. “They are collecting the evidence. I’m pretty confident in an arrest. I can’t say any names because there are restrictions on that.”

Catharine Boob is frustrated that the case hasn’t been solved.

“This has been going on two and a half years,” she said. “They need to act quickly before this person hurts another person. I’m not going to stop fighting this. … With every breath inside of me, I will get justice for my daughter.”

Michael Copley’s criminal history includes a 2009 guilty plea to aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of children by a parent or guardian in Westmoreland County.

He and Cathy met after that, sometime when he was on parole, Amy Boob said. Boob said he was abusive toward her sister.

“He made statements about when he was off parole that he could do whatever he wanted and get away with it,” Boob said.

Court dockets available online show he was discharged from probation on Oct. 28, 2015. Two months later, Cathy went missing.

Mirror Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly is at 946-7435.