Special Reports

Man waives hearing on State Patty's charges

After he wrote a letter of apology and chalked his actions up to a drunken, bad decision, felony charges will likely be dropped against a Mountville man accused of punching a police officer during State Patty's Day festivities Feb. 27.

Jason R. Graham will still face misdemeanor charges of some kind, his attorney, Joe Amendola, said Wednesday. The exact charge hasn’t yet been worked out with prosecutors. And he will serve time in jail, Amendola said.

“Basically, he was just a kid who came up to see girlfriend for State Patty’s Day,” Amendola said.

Amendola said Graham got scared when police chased him after he threw a snowball at a passing car. When officers caught up with the 21-year-old, he was tackled, pepper sprayed and “his reaction to the pepper spray and the situation that developed, he literally, at one point, just flung his arm back and hit the officer in the side of the face,” Amendola said.

Graham waived his preliminary hearing Wednesday in anticipation of a plea bargain, Amendola said.

“The way it’s been structured, he’ll probably end up pleading guilty to simple assault, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and receive a jail sentence of several days in Centre County jail,” Amendola said. “And hopefully think very, very hard the next time he decides to go out and party. I think he finally got the message you can’t go out and drink and do stupid stuff.”