Defender Assn. of Phila., Benjamin Lerner, Public Defender, Elaine DeMasse, Asst. Defender, John W. Packel, Asst. Defender, Chief, Appeals Div., for appellant.
F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, Dist. Atty., Steven H. Goldblatt, Asst. Dist. Atty., Chief, Appeals Div., Gaele Barthold, Asst. Dist. Atty., for appellee.
Eagen, O'Brien, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Jones, former C. J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case. Roberts, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.
This appeal presents the issue of whether the evidence that the victim sustained a broken nose as a result of a single blow delivered by appellant is sufficient to support
appellant's conviction under the Crimes Code of aggravated assault.*fn1 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 2702 (1973). Appellant was tried at a bench trial and convicted of aggravated assault. Post trial motions were denied, and appellant was sentenced to nine to twenty-three months of imprisonment.
Appellant appealed to the Superior Court, which affirmed the conviction, holding that the evidence was sufficient to support the verdict. Commonwealth v. Alexander, 237 Pa. Super. 111, 346 A.2d 319 (1975) (Spaeth, J., dissenting, joined by Hoffman and Cercone, JJ.). For the following reasons we disagree and, therefore, reverse the order of the Superior Court affirming the judgment of sentence.
In reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence, we must view the evidence in a light most favorable to the verdict winner, in this case the Commonwealth. Commonwealth v. Williams, 476 Pa. 557, 383 A.2d 503 (1978); Commonwealth v. Blevins, 453 Pa. 481, 309 A.2d 421 (1973). A review of the record in this light discloses the following facts: On March 6, 1974, the victim was standing on the sidewalk in the 1700 block of Market Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The victim saw something coming toward his head and then was struck once in the face by appellant, using a closed fist. The victim fell to the ground but never lost consciousness. He was taken to an emergency ward where he was treated for the nose injury. An eyewitness, a taxicab driver who was parked near the scene of the incident, testified that appellant walked up to the victim and struck him in the nose and then walked away. The taxicab driver and a police officer apprehended appellant after a short chase.
The Crimes Code defines aggravated assault as follows:
A person is guilty of aggravated assault if he:
(1) attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another, or causes such injury intentionally, knowingly or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme ...