Bellefonte man attempted to strangle another person, police say

A reported domestic dispute left one Bellefonte man facing felony charges.

According to the criminal complaint filed by Bellefonte police, an officer responded at about 10:25 p.m. Saturday on North Thomas Street to a report of people fighting. On arrival, the officer spoke with Andrew Fisher, 49, and another man.

The second man told the officer there had been an argument involving $125 in Visa gift cards that were missing, police said. He also allegedly told the officer he didn’t want to get Fisher in trouble.

The officer observed the man holding his ribs and throat, saying Fisher had thrown bottles at him, police said. He reported Fisher had strangled him, holding his hands over the man’s nose and mouth, and was hit in the ribs with a metal rod.

The officer spoke with Fisher about the Visa cards, police said, where he reported it was one of “many instances where things went missing.” Fisher allegedly corroborated the strangulation and metal rod reports, saying the second man had also put him in a headlock.

Officers spoke with Fisher’s brother, police said, who said it was one of many arguments between the two. The brother heard an argument get physical and heard the second man calling out for help and to call the police.

He didn’t see Fisher hit the second man, police said.

Based on statements and observation, police said, Fisher was determined to be the primary aggressor. When taken to the station, he justified his actions in a written statement as self-defense.

Fisher was arraigned Sunday by District Judge Carmine Prestia, according to court documents, and charged with a felony count of strangulation and a misdemeanor charge of simple assault. Unsecured bail was set at $50,000.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews