Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas of Mercer County, Sept. T., 1972, No. 48, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Robert Palmer.
William J. Rundorff, First Assistant Public Defender, and John J. Regule, Public Defender, for appellant.
Robert F. Banks, First Assistant District Attorney, and Joseph J. Nelson, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Watkins, P. J., Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ. Opinion by Price, J.
This is a direct appeal by Robert Palmer, following his conviction by a jury on two counts of aggravated assault and battery on a police officer. Post-trial motions for new trial and in arrest of judgment were denied and appellant was sentenced to not less than 1 1/2 years nor more than 5 years in prison, with credit for time spent in jail awaiting trial.
It is the contention of the appellant that the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction. Reviewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict winner, as we must, Commonwealth v. Portalatin, 223 Pa. Superior Ct. 33, 297 A.2d 144 (1972), we find his contention to be without merit, and will affirm the judgment of sentence.
The facts of the case, from such a review, are that on May 3, 1972, at 11:16 p.m., police officers of the Farrell Police Department received a call reporting a disturbance at the David James Hotel in Farrell. Three officers arrived in two cruisers, with Captain Madasz arriving first and Officers Linonis and Popadak following
shortly thereafter. They encountered a large crowd standing outside the doorway of the hotel.
Captain Madasz entered the bar and saw two men at the rear, fighting. One man held a cue stick, which Captain Madasz took from him. He advised the man, a Mr. Odem, that he was under arrest and took him into custody. The other combatant, a Mr. Brooks, was also placed under arrest at that time by Officer Popadak, who had just arrived at the scene. Mr. Odem submitted peacefully, but Mr. Brooks swung his arms and kicked at Officer Popadak. While Officer Popadak endeavored to restrain Mr. Brooks, Officer Linonis entered the bar and assisted Officer Popadak. Mr. Brooks then assaulted both of these officers before he was subdued.
The policemen then moved toward the door with their prisoners. The crowd which had gathered outside when the fracas ensued still remained, and Captain Madasz saw two men from the crowd throw stones "approximately the size of a soft ball" (NT 35) at the officers. He saw one of the rocks strike Officer Popadak on the head and one strike Officer Linonis' face with such force that Linonis fell to his knees. Captain Madasz identified the men who threw the rocks as the appellant, Robert Palmer, and a Robert Wright.
Once the officers reached the sidewalk, they were accosted by appellant and Mr. Wright, who demanded to know what was happening and why Brooks was arrested. Appellant and Wright persistently interfered with the officers and succeeded to the extent that the prisoner Brooks escaped. However, Brooks was soon recaptured and placed in a police ...