State College man resisted arrest and attempted to escape custody, police say


A Penn State student faces misdemeanor charges after allegedly fighting with police and ambulance staff.

According to the criminal complaint filed by Penn State police, an officer was dispatched at about 2:30 a.m. May 6 to Shulze Hall on campus for a report of a male wandering the third floor. The man was reported to be highly intoxicated.

On arrival, the officer found the man, identified as Luke A. Benton, 19, of State College, police said, near the south stairwell. Benton reportedly smelled strongly of alcohol and had three abrasions on the side of his face.

Three unknown individuals were with him, police said, and reported finding him walking along Hetzel Street. They denied knowing him, but agreed to help him return to his residence.

Benton was seated against a wall and allegedly admitted to consuming six beers at a party downtown, police said. He denied being in a physical altercation.

When the officer informed him of the concern over his level of intoxication, Benton reportedly challenged the officer for “picking on him,” police said, claiming it was unfair he was being arrested. He allegedly attempted to leave, but was restrained by the officer and handcuffed.

University Ambulance Service arrived on scene to take Benton to Mount Nittany Medical Center for treatment, police said. As he was loaded into the ambulance, he reportedly pulled a leg free and began kicking, attempting to pull free. He was secured by the officer and ambulance staff.

He continued to be combative at the hospital, police said, and eventually had to be restrained by hospital security. A glass smoking device reportedly found in a bag he was carrying tested positive for marijuana residue.

He was charged via summons Tuesday by District Judge Carmine Prestia, according to court documents, and faces misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia. A preliminary hearing is slated for June 28.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews