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Man Facing Charges for Scuffle With Police at UPMC Northwest

Tuesday, June 30, 2020 @ 12:06 AM

Posted by Aly Delp

image (77)CRANBERRY TWP., Pa. (EYT) – An area man is facing aggravated assault and related charges for an incident where he reportedly had a scuffle with police at UPMC Northwest.

Court documents indicate the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center filed the following charges against 61-year-old James Richard Proper, of Oil City:

– Aggravated Assault – Attempts to cause or causes Bodily Injury to designated individuals, Felony 2
– Terroristic Threats With Intent To Terrorize Another, Misdemeanor 1

– Simple Assault, Misdemeanor 2
– Resist Arrest/Other Law Enforcement, Misdemeanor 2
– Disorderly Conduct Hazardous/Physical Offense, Misdemeanor 3
– Public Drunkenness And Similar Misconduct, Summary

According to a criminal complaint, on May 21, UPMC Police were asked to remove a “combative drunk person” from the Emergency Department at UPMC Northwest.

The individual, later identified as James Proper, was “cussing” and “not listening to the nursing staff,” the complaint states.

Proper had reportedly arrived at the Emergency Department drunk three times that week, and UPMC police were then asked to take him to the lobby as he was discharged and was being “combative.” He had been repeatedly asked to remain in his room and was walking into the restricted nursing area, according to the complaint.

When one nurse asked him to return to his room, he told her to “sit the f*** down,” and then also told a doctor, “if you’re not giving me anything for pain, leave me the f*** alone,” the complaint indicates.

UPMC officers escorted Proper out of the Emergency Department and sat him in a chair, at which point he reportedly continued to be loud and referred to staff members with a derogatory term.

According to the complaint, Proper was warned and told to calm down three times and was asked for a phone number to reach someone that could give him a ride home. He then reportedly stood up and began yelling, “make me mother f*****.” He was then warned again that he could be cited for disorderly conduct and allegedly said, “go ahead mother f*****,” according to the complaint.

UPMC Police then attempted to place Proper in handcuffs, but he reportedly pulled his right fist away, pulling the one officer toward him. He then swung his fist at the officer’s torso, and the officer took him to the ground, the complaint notes.

During the struggle on the ground, Proper threw the handcuffs out of the officer’s hands, and two other officers then stepped in to assist. Proper continued to struggle and refused multiple times to allow officers to handcuff him before they finally were able to take him into custody safely, according to the complaint.

Charges were filed through Magisterial District Judge Patrick E. Lowrey’s office on June 25:

A preliminary hearing for the case has not yet been scheduled.

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