HOLLIDAYSBURG - An off-duty Blair County police officer was injured during a July 16 fracas that erupted at a party held at attorney Thomas M. Dickey's home after an annual golf tournament.
State troopers from the Hollidaysburg barracks responded to 226 Woodland Terrace, Hickory Hills, for a report of a disturbance at 8:40 p.m. July 16, Lt. Timothy Mercer, the Troop G crime section supervisor, said Tuesday.
No arrests were made, but the incident remains under investigation, Mercer said.
Dickey said he didn't see anything and was not a witness to what occurred, but he heard a ruckus occurring outside and asked that 911 be called.
One person was removed from the party by ambulance, and Dickey confirmed he saw blood.
Dickey said the brawl was an isolated incident, and said after police came and conducted interviews and gathered evidence, the party continued. He said nobody was intoxicated at the party.
He said the incident occurred outside his residence in a garden.
"I was very disappointed by what occurred," he said.
He said the golf tournament at the Scotch Valley Country Club and dinner at his home is an annual event he puts together for people in the justice system, including lawyers, police officers and sheriff's deputies.
Judges Joseph Leahey and Gerard Long of Cambria County played golf but were not present at the dinner when the fight occurred, Dickey said. They had left the affair by that point.
No Blair County judges were present, but at least two members of the district attorney's staff were there.
Other guests included lawyers from Pittsburgh, Greensburg and Uniontown, Dickey said.
Blair County District Attorney Richard Consiglio confirmed Tuesday that an investigation was under way but provided few facts about what he knew.
An anonymous letter sent out concerning what occurred said the injured party was a state trooper. That was denied by Consiglio and Mercer. The letter also said the assailant was a person from Cambria County. Dickey said that was not true.
"There was a large party there and many of the potential witnesses departed prior to us having the opportunity to interview them," Mercer said. "There may be a substantial number of people to be interviewed, numbering in the teens or twenties."
Logan Township Police Chief Ron Heller confirmed that one of his off-duty officers attended the party but declined comment further.
"It's being investigated by the state police," he said.
Heller said his officer may be disciplined as a result of being at the party.
"It depends on the facts and the outcome of the investigation," he said.
Hollidaysburg Borough Chief Jeffrey Ketner declined comment when asked if one of his off-duty officers was at the party.
"I can't comment. State police were called. That's all I can say," he said.
Several other Blair chiefs contacted Tuesday said none of their officers were at the party. No troopers were at the party, except for those who responded to the disturbance call, Mercer said.
Cpl. Brian Hoover of the Bedford barracks is conducting the investigation for state police. Bedford troopers were asked to handle the case because Blair County municipal police officers were at the party.
"Because of that fact, customarily we have investigators from a neighboring barracks conduct that investigation," Mercer said.
Dickey said he was disappointed someone would send out an anonymous letter about the party.
"The party [which included 100 to 115 people] was absolutely not out of control," he said.
Police, he said, "conducted their investigation and left."
This was an incident, Dickey said, "that unfortunately occurred during a gathering of professionals."
He said he hosted a catered affair that included filet mignon, shrimp, corn on the cob and many other types of food.
"I tried to put on an event that brings together parts of the court system," he said. The golfing event and dinner were to have everybody together in a more informal atmosphere.
Unfortunately, Dickey said, he doesn't think at this point he will sponsor another golf outing.
Mirror Staff Writer Mark Leberfinger is at 946-7462. Staff Writer Phil Ray at 946-7468.