The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 18, 2013

Man, 90, allegedly punches trooper

David Hurst
dhurst@tribdem.com

SEWARD — A 90-year-old East Wheatfield Township man faces aggravated assault charges, accused of punching a trooper trying to take him into custody last week.

Troopers said Russell Stiffler, of Donelson Road, allegedly threatened to shoot police officers who showed up to his residence on a domestic-related call and then repeatedly ignored their commands to turn himself over to them Friday.

“Stiffler came outside and verbal commands were given for him to show his hands and come off the porch,” Trooper Michael Sbardella wrote, saying Stiffler instead went back into his home.

After Stiffler ingored a second round of commands, two troopers took the man down to the ground, prompting him to swing at Trooper Scott Mackanick, who was not injured, Sbardella wrote.

Stiffler was arraigned by District Judge Susanne Steffee on Friday. He was then placed in Indiana County Jail after failing to post $25,000 bond.

Stiffler also faces simple assault and harassment charges, police said.

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