Police: Man allegedly kicked officer in head

Duncansville resident arrested for incident in Westfall Park


From Mirror staff reports

A Duncansville man is in jail on charges he fought with Altoona police and kicked an officer in the head.

Christopher A. Helsel, 35, of 150 Helsel Heights, Duncansville, was arrested about 1:30 a.m. Monday after he was pepper sprayed and hit with a stun gun following an encounter with police at Westfall Park.

According to Altoona police, Helsel was found in the park, which is closed after dark, by an officer on patrol. When the officer tried to get Helsel’s information, he only repeated his first name.

Helsel claimed he was in the woods with several other people, cutting down trees and building a campfire. Officers noted in the charges that Helsel was acting nervous and anxious and “something appeared to be unusual” about the scene.

Officers were finally able to get Helsel to tell them his last name, and while awaiting Blair County 911’s check of Helsel’s information, police called for backup to check the woods because of Helsel’s claim.

It was then that Helsel started to walk away, and when police tried to detain him, he allegedly struggled with the officers and had to be taken to the ground. Once on the ground, Helsel continued to fight police, who tried to put him in handcuffs, and during the altercation, Helsel allegedly kicked an officer in the head several times.

Police struck Helsel several times in the abdomen during the scuffle in an attempt to subdue him, and then Helsel was sprayed with pepper spray. A Logan Township officer who responded when officers called for backup ultimately used a stun gun on Helsel.

Helsel is charged with felony aggravated assault and related charges and remains in Blair County Prison in lieu of $100,000 cash bond.

A preliminary hearing is slated for Oct. 3 at Central Court.