Charges against Shenandoah man accused of assaulting officers held for court

·2 min read

Sep. 9—SHENANDOAH — A borough man charged with assaulting two police officers inside a Shenandoah business in August had charges against him held for court during a preliminary hearing Thursday.

Anthony J. Swetavage, 39, of 24 N. Union St., Apt. 1, appeared before Magisterial District Judge Anthony J. Kilker on charges of felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor offenses of resisting arrest or other law enforcement and criminal trespass.

Shenandoah police Patrolman Matthew Williams charged Swetavage after an incident at the Lyric Bar on West Centre Street around 10 p.m. Aug. 6.

Williams testified he received a call about an intoxicated man inside the business refusing to leave.

Williams testified he arrived and spoke to Swetavage, saying that his intention was to get the man to go home, but Swetavage would not do so.

"He was refusing to leave," Williams said. "I tried to talk to him. I did everything I could."

At one point, Swetavage began to tell Williams that he needed help and listed the names of area police departments he claimed would be needed to help get him out of the bar, Williams said.

Williams told the court he called for backup and West Mahanoy Twp. Police Chief Marvin Livergood and Frackville police Patrolman Devin Buccieri arrived to assist.

As the three officers began to escort Swetavage from the bar, he resisted and tensed up near the door, Williams said.

It was then the situation escalated, with Swetavage hitting Buccieri, knocking her into a video game machine, and then punching Livergood in the chest, knocking him backwards, according to Williams.

Williams told the court he deployed his Taser, hitting Swetavage, with no effect. The officer said he then deployed the weapon again and the man said: "OK, I'll give up. I'll leave."

Williams said that Swetavage then walked out of the bar, was evaluated by Shenandoah EMS and taken into custody.

Livergood recalled Swetavage telling him, Williams and Buccieri that "you're gonna need more police."

Livergood testified that at the time he was punched by Swetavage, he was wearing body armor and was uninjured.

After hearing testimony, Kilker held all charges against Swetavage for Schuylkill County Court, where the defendant can plead guilty or enter a not guilty plea and request a trial.

Assistant Public Defender Kent D. Watkins asked Kilker to reduce his client's bail from 10% of $25,000 to unsecured, providing Swetavage can prove he has a stable place to live.

Assistant District Attorney Karen Bynes-Noon did not oppose the bail reduction, but asked Kilker for the bail to be supervised and for Swetavage to receive a mental health evaluation.

Kilker denied bail, saying he will leave that decision to the county court, where Swetavage can be monitored better.