The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 5, 2013

Officer dragged while trying to stop vehicle

Patrick Buchnowski

EBENSBURG — A Berlin police officer escaped injury when she grabbed the steering wheel of a moving vehicle driven by an intoxicated woman who had been injured in a domestic dispute, police said.    

A criminal complaint said Officer Michelle Piscitella was responding to an incident on Sunday on Washington Street when she spotted Tammy L. Berkey, 54, attempting to drive away from the scene.

Berkey smelled of alcohol and had a head injury, police said.

Berkey refused to stop, and the officer reached in and grabbed the wheel.

Piscitella said she pulled Berkey from the vehicle and then jumped inside, stopping the vehicle from crashing into a house.

Berkey, of Meadow Lands, Washington County, was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and driving under the influence of alcohol.

Her blood-alcohol count was 0.28 percent, police said.

Also charged in the incident was Craig M. Foy, 52, of the

700 block of Washington Street, Berlin.

Foy allegedly pushed Berky from the steps outside the home, causing her to fall.

Her head hit the ground, police said.

Berkey suffered a 3-inch long gash to her head and a broken bone in her arm, police said.

Foy was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, disorderly conduct and harassment.

Foy and Berkey were arraigned by on-call District Judge Sandra Stevanus of Confluence and were each released on unsecured bond.

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