Man charged in Athens assault enters guilty plea
A Towanda man accused of barricading himself with children inside an Athens Borough apartment and injuring police officers while resisting arrest in Dec. 2012 recently entered a guilty plea in county court.
Michael A. Pierce, 26, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of first-degree felony aggravated assault and one count of resisting arrest, a second-degree misdemeanor, according to the county district attorney's office. Pierce will appear in court July 29 for sentencing.
Borough police had charged Pierce with four counts of aggravated assault, two counts of first-degree misdemeanor simple assault and one count each of burglary, criminal trespassing, second-degree misdemeanor simple assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct in the Dec. 9 incident, according to a criminal complaint filed by police with Magisterial District Judge Michael Shaw's office.
Police said officers were called at about 7:45 p.m. to the Twin Rivers Terrace apartment complex on Spruce Street to respond to a medical call. Callers told county dispatchers that an individual in the apartment, later identified as Pierce, was believed to be under the influence of drugs and was scaring children at the residence, according to police.
A female resident of the apartment told officers that Pierce had barged through the front door uninvited and barricaded himself inside a bedroom with two minor children and a male, police said. Officers, assisted by Athens Township and Sayre Borough police, knocked down the door, removed the children from the room and attempted to detain Pierce, police said.
During an approximately five-minute struggle to take him into custody, Pierce spat at officers and struck them with his feet, continuing to kick after he was placed into handcuffs, police said.
One officer received a blood blister on his finger, another was kicked numerous times in the chest, and a third officer suffered injury to his hand, knee and right toe, police said.
Officers used a stun gun on Pierce twice while struggling to detain him, but the device had no effect, police said.
The male that had been barricaded inside the room with Pierce later told police that Pierce had thrown a table at him and the children and that the table struck him, police said.
Following his arraignment, Pierce was incarcerated in the Bradford County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail.
Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.