Clarion Man Accused of Punching, Pushing Woman, Resisting Arrest
Court documents indicate the Clarion Borough Police Department filed criminal charges against 29-year-old Joel Lee Best Jr..
According to a criminal complaint, around 2:55 p.m. on Saturday, September 26, Officer Wright, of the Clarion Borough Police Department, was dispatched to a residence on South 6th Avenue for a report of a domestic disturbance.
At the scene, Officer Wright spoke to a known female victim who the complaint notes was crying and obviously upset. The victim stated that Joel Lee Best Jr. had assaulted her at their residence on 6th Avenue.
The victim reported that Best punched her in both arms, and Officer Wright observed bruising to her upper left arm and redness on her upper right arm. She also stated Best struck her on top of the head and pushed her into the wall and onto the ground, causing injuries to both of her knees, according to the complaint.
Bruising to the victim’s left knee and a cut and redness on her right knee was also observed, the complaint notes.
Officer Wright then interviewed Best.
According to the complaint, Best said he’d had an argument with the victim and had grabbed her and attempted to remove her from the residence.
Best was then informed he was under arrest for domestic assault and was asked to place his hands behind his back.
After being advised he was under arrest, Best pulled away and said he was not under arrest. Officer Wright then pulled his taser and advised Best to comply or he would be tased. Best then got on the ground and placed his arms behind his back. He was handcuffed and helped off the ground and to the police vehicle, the complaint states.
When Best was being placed in the police vehicle, he began to pull away from Officer Wright again and said he was “not going anywhere.” Officer Wright had to “use substantial force” to get Best into the vehicle, according to the complaint.
The complaint also notes Best had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, as well as red, bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, and generally appeared to be visibly intoxicated.
While being transported, Best also reportedly told Officer Wright that he was going to “kick (his) a**” and then head-butted and kicked the center partition in the vehicle and also kicked the side window. The complaint states Best also continued to kick and slam into the holding cell he was placed in after reaching the Clarion Borough Police Department, causing damage to the cell.
Best was arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge Duane L. Quinn at 5:00 p.m. on September 26, on the following charges:
– Simple Assault, Misdemeanor 2
– Resist Arrest/Other Law Enforcement, Misdemeanor 2
– Institutional Vandalism, Misdemeanor 2
– Disorderly Conduct Engage In Fighting, Misdemeanor 3
– Harassment – Subject Other to Physical Contact, Summary
Unable to post $25,000.00 monetary bail, he was lodged in the Clarion County Jail.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:15 a.m. on October 6, with Judge Quinn presiding.
Court documents indicate Best is also scheduled for a criminal conference with Clarion County District Attorney Drew Welsh on October 7 related to a prior incident where he allegedly attempted to stab a neighbor and shot another man with a pellet rifle.
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