Reported argument leads to physical altercation, assault charges

A Philipsburg man is facing assault charges after a reported argument with his girlfriend turned physical.

According to the criminal complaint filed by state police at Philipsburg, a trooper spoke with the girlfriend at about 4:45 a.m. Saturday at the Philipsburg barracks. She said she had been at the residence of James Minarchick, 33, when the argument started and he told her to leave.

She agreed, police said, and began gathering her things as the argument continued. She reportedly made a comment that Minarchick was “being like his mother” when he pushed her down, causing her to fall into a Christmas tree.

The girlfriend pushed Minarchick to get away from him, police said, when he reportedly threw her to the floor again, causing her to hit her head. She was able to get away from him and threw a candle at him, striking him in the head.

Minarchick allegedly held her down by her throat, police said, choking her. She was able to claw at his face and kick him away before she ran outside seeking help.

Minarchick was taken into custody at about 5:20 p.m. that day, police said. He reported that his girlfriend had been at his residence when he told her he wanted to break up and to leave.

He said she began arguing with him and pushed him away, police said. The pushing continued throughout the argument when she allegedly grabbed a candle and struck him in the head.

Minarchick reportedly admitted he did get on top of her and hold her down so she would stop pushing him around, police said. He said she scratched his face while he was trying to keep her from hitting him, then let her up and she ran out.

Minarchick was arraigned Sunday by District Judge Carmine Prestia, according to court documents, and charged with a misdemeanor count of simple assault and a summary charge of harassment. Unsecured bail was set at $5,000.

A preliminary hearing is slated for Jan. 4.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews