Another case of police getting involved with fans


1 Response to “Another case of police getting involved with fans”

  1. October 16, 2009 at 3:46 PM

    Oct. 14–MONACA, PA — The father of a Monaca High School football player is accused of assaulting a referee who also serves as a high-ranking state police official during Monaca’s game with South Side on Friday, along with a Monaca police officer.

    Thomas L. Phillips, 39, of 827 Jackson Ave., Monaca, PA was in a hilly area where fans stand at Monaca Stadium when referee Eric S. Hermick approached him at halftime to “warn (Phillips) about his behavior and language” directed at Hermick during the game, according to police and a school official.

    Hermick, of Patterson Township, also serves as a lieutenant in charge of highway patrol at the state police Troop B Washington station. He previously headed the state police station in Brighton Township.

    Monaca police officer Eugene St. Clair, who investigated, reported in a criminal complaint that a verbal altercation between the two ended with Hermick attempting to walk away and “placing his hands up, asking (Phillips) to move,” St. Clair reported in the complaint.

    Phillips then put his hands on Hermick, the complaint says.

    St. Clair, who was escorting South Side players to the locker room, reported that he intervened and attempted to “take (Phillips) to the ground.” Hermick joined the fray in an attempt to restrain Phillips, and Phillips struck Hermick numerous times, St. Clair reported.

    St. Clair then used a Taser to subdue Phillips.

    St. Clair injured his right knee and left ankle; Hermick had a bruised right arm, and his shirt was torn during the struggle.

    Phillips is also accused of assaulting St. Clair, according to the Monaca police report.

    On Tuesday, Monaca High Principal Shawn McCreary said that he attended the game but was too far from the commotion to see what happened. McCreary, a former Monaca football coach, said he assumed Phillips had been complaining about a call on the field.

    He said no students were involved, and the school was treating it strictly as a police matter. Monaca police are retained to provide security at football games.

    Phillips, the father of Monaca offensive tackle Thomas Phillips, said Tuesday that his attorney had advised him not to comment. Attorney Joseph Askar did not return a call.

    Phillips was charged with aggravated assault, assault on a sports official, resisting arrest, public drunkenness and disorderly conduct. He was freed after posting $5,000 bond.

    McCreary said he believed a second person was arrested Friday, but could not provide further details. No charges against a second person from the game had been filed at local magisterial courts Tuesday. St. Clair was working a night shift and could not be reached, while an officer on duty during the day said he could not provide details.

    Monaca, which next year will be part of Central Valley School District, beat South Side 27-13 in its next-to-last game at the old stadium overlooking the Ohio River.

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