The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

July 17, 2014

Berlin police: Woman bit officer on hand, causing infection

BERLIN — A disabled resident of a group home was arraigned Thursday on charges that she bit a Berlin Borough police officer whose hand then became infected.

Berlin police charged Wendy Sue Wirth, 42, with aggravated assault, simple assault and disorderly conduct.

In a criminal complaint, police said they found Wirth on June 20 outside the Stewart Street group home where she lives.

Police said Wirth had thrown herself from her wheelchair and was cursing at caregivers and passing motorists.

As the officer and a caregiver were lifting Wirth into her wheelchair, she attempted to grab the officer’s firearm from its holster, police said.

When a Somerset ambulance crew arrived, Wirth punched one man, police said.

Wirth then bit the female officer, the complaint said.

The officer was treated for the bite wound at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown.

“She was given prescriptions as a precautionary measure for infectious disease and then released,” the complaint said.

 Several days later, the wound became infected, police said.

The officer received additional treatment and medication.

Wirth was arraigned by on-call District Judge Douglas Bell of Meyersdale and released on nonmonetary bond.

Patrick Buchnowski is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @PatBuchnowskiTD.

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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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