Brackenridge man accused of threatening hospital staff, punching officer in throat

·2 min read

Jul. 29—A Brackenridge man is accused of punching a police officer in the throat after threatening staff at Allegheny Valley Hospital in Harrison earlier in July.

Deston Tyrone Tanner, 44, was ordered Wednesday by District Judge Carolyn S. Bengel to stand trial on a felony count of aggravated assault and misdemeanor counts of simple assault and disorderly conduct. Two misdemeanor counts of making terroristic threats were dismissed, according to court records.

Tanner is being represented by a public defender, who could not be reached for comment.

The charges stem from a July 10 incident when hospital security asked for a Highmark Health Police officer to help them with a patient threatening staff members, according to a criminal complaint filed in the case.

A security officer reported that the 6-foot-1, 320-pound Tanner had threatened to hurt him, a registered nurse and other nursing staff members. Tanner also called 911 from a phone available for patients to use, the complaint said.

Tanner said he called 911 so police would come to the hospital and he could file a report, but the complaint did not say what he wanted to report. When the officer told Tanner he could speak with him about any concerns or problems while at the hospital, Tanner said, "You got it," and punched the officer in the throat with a closed fist.

Three security guards nearby grabbed Tanner and took him to the ground before taking him to an isolation room.

The officer had difficulty breathing after being punched, and he was treated in the hospital's emergency room, the complaint said. He was found to have bruising to his larynx and throat, and was expected to remain off duty for several days, according to the complaint.

Tanner was being held in Allegheny County Jail on $20,000 bond, according to court records. Bengel denied a request to lower the bond. Tanner's formal arraignment in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court is scheduled Sept. 14.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, or via Twitter .

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