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Police: Wanted Probation Absconder Injures Two Officers During Arrest, Two Others Charged With Hindering Apprehension

Thursday, December 10, 2020 @ 12:12 AM

Posted by Aly Delp

police-redCLARION BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) – A man who was wanted for absconding from his probation is facing felony charges after injuring two probation officers during his arrest, while two other individuals are facing charges for reportedly harboring him.

Court documents indicate the Clarion Borough Police Department filed criminal charges against 27-year-old Zachary Thomas Kemmer, of Summerville, and 33-year-old Lacie Renee Switzer and 32-year-old Joseph James Bruno, both of Clarion.

According to a criminal complaint, on September 23, Zachary Kemmer, who was on probation with Clarion County Adult Probation, reported to the probation office for a scheduled office visit and met with a probation officer. The officer requested Kemmer submit to a drug test and provide a urine sample, and as Kemmer could not provide a proper sample, he was instructed to sit in the lobby and drink some water. He then buzzed back in later, stating he was ready.

However, the complaint states that when the parole officer went back to the lobby to let Kmmer back into the office area, Kemmer was gone. The officer checked the parking lot and outdoor area but could not locate Kemmer, then attempted to call Kemmer’s phone but received no answer. The officer then left Kemmer a text message to report back to the probation office.

Kemmer never reported back to the probation office, and a warrant was then issued for his arrest.

Around 2:55 p.m. on October 27, Clarion County Adult Probation officers requested assistance at the 5th Avenue residence of Lacey Switzer and Joseph Bruno, and Clarion Borough Police responded to the scene, the complaint states.

Switzer is also on probation, and the probation officers had received information that Kemmer was possibly at the residence. Switzer and Bruno were seated in the living room when Clarion Borough Police reached the scene, and Switzer was then asked if anyone else in the residence. Switzer reportedly failed to disclose that Kemmer was in the bathroom on the first floor of the residence, according to the complaint.

Kemmer came out of the bathroom in question “at full speed” and “basically tackled” one of the parole officers, driving him backward eight to ten feet up against a wall, the complaint states.

The parole officer was injured during the incident and was treated at the Clarion Hospital Emergency Room after showing signs of a concussion. The officer missed several days of work due to the injuries, the complaint notes.

After releasing the first parole officer, Kemmer was then tackled by other officers and fell to the floor of the living room. The officers attempted to take Kemmer into custody, but he reportedly refused to submit to arrest and was then able to get up off the floor and flee toward the front door of the residence, according to the complaint.

Officer Zerfoss, of the Clarion Borough Police, was at the doorway when Kemmer exited the residence and deployed his taser on Kemmer. Kemmer made it outside, turned right, and attempted to run, but a parole officer was able to tackle him to the ground. He reportedly continued to resist and was “dry stunned” several times while on the ground while approximately five to six law enforcement officers attempted to get him handcuffed and safely into custody.

It took several more minutes to get Kemmer into handcuffs as he continued to struggle.

A second parole officer was also injured during the struggle, suffering injuries to his face and right arm in the process of attempting to arrest Kemmer, the complaint states.

Following Kemmer’s arrest, it was also discovered that Switzer had a probation appointment earlier in the afternoon and had sent Kemmer a text message warning him that a probation officer was giving her a ride home because she believed the officers might come into the house, the complaint indicates.

Kemmer was interviewed at the Clarion County Jail on October 30. He reportedly told police that after walking out of his probation appointment on September 23, he had been “on the run from probation” for over a month. He told police that he began staying at the 5th Avenue residence with Bruno on October 10 and noted that Switzer was at the residence the past few days. He admitted that Bruno knew he was wanted by probation and said he would come and go from the residence using the window, which Bruno had seen him do several times, according to the complaint.

The following charges were filed against Kemmer through Magisterial District Judge Duane L. Quinn’s office on December 9:

– Aggravated Assault – Attempts to cause or causes Bodily Injury, Felony 2 (two counts)
– Fight to Avoid Apprehension/Trial/Punishment, Felony 3
– Simple Assault, Misdemeanor 2 (two counts)
– Resist Arrest/Other Law Enforcement, Misdemeanor 2
– Possession of Controlled Substance, Misdemeanor
– Use/Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Misdemeanor

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

Second-degree misdemeanor counts of Hinder Apprehension/Prosecution-Harbor Or Conceal were filed against both Bruno and Switzer on December 9.

Preliminary hearings have been scheduled for 9:30 and 9:45 a.m. on December 21, with Judge Quinn presiding.


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