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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. MICHAEL GUERRISI (03/26/82)

filed: March 26, 1982.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
MICHAEL GUERRISI, APPELLANT



No. 2386 Philadelphia, 1980, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, Lebanon County, at No. 530 of 1979.

COUNSEL

Paul W. Kilgore, Lebanon, for appellant.

William L. Thurston, Assistant District Attorney, Lebanon, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Cercone, President Judge, and Spaeth and Cavanaugh, JJ.

Author: Cercone

[ 297 Pa. Super. Page 247]

Having been tried before judge and jury, the appellant, Michael Guerrisi, was convicted on January 10, 1980 of aggravated assault*fn1 and resisting arrest.*fn2 On October 15, 1980, he was sentenced to five consecutive weekends in prison, a two year less one day period of probation, plus costs and fines. This appeal followed.

Appellant first contends that the evidence was insufficient as a matter of law to sustain his convictions. Viewed, as we must, in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth as verdict winner below, the salient facts are these. See Commonwealth v. Holmes, 482 Pa. 97, 393 A.2d 397 (1978); Commonwealth v. Williams, 447 Pa. 206, 290 A.2d 111 (1972); Commonwealth v. Emmi, 290 Pa. Superior Ct. 86, 434 A.2d 142 (1981); Commonwealth v. Rainey, 285 Pa. Superior Ct. 75, 426 A.2d 1148 (1981); Commonwealth v. Young, 233 Pa. Superior Ct. 429, 335 A.2d 498 (1975). On September 7, 1979, two police officers, Robert E. Weinhold and Scott Bartel, were summoned by a radio dispatch to a parking lot to disperse a group of approximately twenty to thirty teenagers. Upon arriving at about 11:00 p. m., they observed the appellant attempting to strike Michael Weller, the operator of the car. The police officers decided to place appellant under arrest for harassment after conversing with Mr. Weller.

After informing appellant of the arrest, the officers each grasped one of his wrists and led him toward the police car. Appellant broke loose*fn3 and a scuffle ensued, during the

[ 297 Pa. Super. Page 248]

    course of which, according to Officer Weinhold's testimony alone, he was struck in the groin by appellant. The officer testified that he then retaliated by punching appellant a single time in the side of the head. Eventually, the appellant was controlled, put into the police car, and transported to headquarters. The officers testified that en route, the appellant stated he was going to kill them, and that, upon arriving at the police garage, appellant struck Officer Weinhold, precipitating another scuffle. According to their testimony, the officers then simply wrestled appellant to the ground in order to regain control over their prisoner. Clearly, when viewed in this light, the evidence sufficiently supported the appellant's convictions for the offenses of resisting arrest and aggravated assault on a police officer.

Appellant next contends that the lower court erred in permitting testimony concerning the altercation that took place in the police garage because the information allegedly only charged him with offenses that occurred in the parking lot. Our review of the record indicates that the information for the aggravated assault charge did in fact charge appellant with acts at both the parking lot and the Lebanon Police Department. Therefore, appellant's contention is patently frivolous.

Appellant's final contention is that he was denied the effective assistance of trial counsel in that counsel did not offer evidence of the physical injuries that were inflicted upon him by the police. More specifically, he contends that counsel had hospital records and pictures which would have established the serious nature of appellant's injuries to both corroborate the appellant's testimony that he was brutalized at the hands of the police while at the same time impeaching the credibility of the police officer's testimony that they only struck appellant once in the parking lot and only "wrestled" him down at the police garage. It was appellant's testimony, which was corroborated by defense witnesses, that ...


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