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Man jailed after allegedly choking, hitting girlfriend

Police: Spearman was upset because he had to pay for food

A city man is in jail after police say an argument in the parking lot of a McDonald’s restaurant turned violent on Saturday.

Maurice Spearman, 33, of Altoona, faces charges that include felony strangulation and misdemeanor resisting arrest after he allegedly choked and hit his girlfriend after he got upset over having to pay for their food at McDonald’s, according to charges filed by Altoona police.

Police allege the couple got food at the drive-thru of the McDonald’s at 1500 Ninth Ave. about 7:30 p.m. and started arguing after Spearman got upset that he had to pay. When his girlfriend yelled for him to get out of the vehicle, Spearman allegedly opened his door and then grabbed the woman by the neck with both hands.

The girlfriend told responding police that she couldn’t breathe and briefly lost consciousness and that she was “clawing at his arms in an attempt to get him to release her,” Altoona police Patrolman Patrick Tomassetti noted in the charges.

She told officers that when she came to again after being choked, Spearman hit her in the face multiple times. As Spearman started to get out, she tried to drive off and he got back in the vehicle and struck her again in the face. Spearman allegedly got out and threw a beer can at the woman before walking away.

Altoona police found Spearman on the 1800 block of Sixth Avenue Alley, and he allegedly tried to pull away from officers when they tried to take him into custody, police added.

Police noted the woman had multiple large, swollen lumps on her face and she was taken to UPMC Altoona by ambulance after the incident.

Spearman was arraigned Sunday morning by Magisterial District Judge Andrew Blattenberger and jailed in lieu of $30,000 cash bail. A preliminary hearing is slated for Wednesday at Central Court.

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