Charges follow reported birthday party fight

A Bellefonte man is facing assault and falsification charges after a reported fight at a birthday party.

According to the criminal complaint filed by state police at Philipsburg, a trooper responded on Feb. 12 to Mount Nittany Medical Center for a report of a possible assault. A man in the emergency room advised he had been at a friend’s house in Huston Township the previous evening for a party.

The man admitted to drinking and “blacking out,” police said. He reportedly awoke in the early morning hours to James M. Boland, 18, on top of him punching him repeatedly.

The trooper noted swelling and bruising to the majority of the man’s face, police said. A medical report later indicated he had sustained nasal bone fractures.

Boland was interviewed that evening at the Philipsburg station, police said, where he described the man as having arrived at the party “extremely intoxicated.” At about 11 p.m., he reported hearing a loud noise, saying the man had fallen unconscious in the bathroom and hit his face on the tub.

An altercation ensued later, during which Boland said the man had hit him, police said. Boland claimed to have hit the man in the nose once then restrained his arms while a second man hit him.

The resident who held the party was interviewed on Feb. 28 and told police that Boland and the man were wrestling around, and the man became upset because Boland was “being rough.” The man struck Boland, who took him to the ground and struck him twice, according to police.

The resident denied seeing a second man hit the first, police said, or that he had fallen in the bathroom.

Boland was interviewed a second time on Sunday, police said, and advised that some of his initial statement wasn’t true. He allegedly admitted that the man hadn’t hit his head or been struck by a second man, saying he was the only one to hit him.

Boland was arraigned via summons Monday by District Judge Allen Sinclair, according to court documents, and charged with misdemeanor counts of simple assault and false swearing to mislead a public servant and summary counts of harassment.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews