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City man faces felony in alleged beating case

CLEARFIELD — An Altoona man is facing felony charges for his part in the alleged beating of two men in September at a Beccaria, Clearfield County, residence.

Clearfield state police charged John Lawrence Wissinger, 28, in late July with two counts of felony criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, felony criminal conspiracy, criminal mischief, two misdemeanor counts of criminal conspiracy, assault and two summary charges of conspiracy in relation to an incident on Sept. 22.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, two men arrived at the residence to pick up a vehicle that had been borrowed by a woman there.

One of the victims said when he got out of the Audi they arrived in, “right away people were everywhere.”

Both James Potts, 19, of Fallentimber and William Benjamin Cochran, 34, of Coalport were identified by the victims as being among the seven or eight people who reportedly assaulted them.

Cochran allegedly pushed a gun against a victim’s mouth and threatened to kill him.

Police were able to collect fingerprints from the vehicle, which sustained more than $8,000 in damage.

In an interview with police, Potts confirmed that Cochran and Wissinger were involved in the assault, according to the complaint.

Wissinger also was charged with flight to avoid apprehension, intentional possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia in an unrelated case that occurred on Sept. 30 in Coalport.

He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in each of his cases on Sept. 16.

In a separate case, Potts and Cochran are charged for shooting and smashing a windshield with a baseball bat on another vehicle on Sept. 4 in Jordan Township.

On Wednesday during centralized court, Potts waived his right to preliminary hearings in both cases while Cochran’s cases were continued until Aug. 12. Both remain in the Clearfield County Jail.

Previously, charges had been filed against both men for another incident at a residence in Jordan Township on Sept. 5, during which they reportedly threatened a woman and shot her dogs.

Cochran and Potts have several other cases pending in Clearfield County.

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