Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Elderly man jailed after alleged assault on police

by By The Indiana Gazette on March 19, 2013 11:00 AM

EAST WHEATFIELD TOWNSHIP -- A 90-year-old man was jailed after he allegedly punched a state police trooper during an incident Friday afternoon.

State police in Indiana said the incident began after Indiana resident Mildred Smith called police and asked that troopers check on her mother, Jane Stiffler, of 789 Donelson Road, East Wheatfield Township.

Police said Smith told them she hadn't heard from her mother for a long time and that her father, Russell Stiffler, had threatened to shoot any troopers or medical personnel who showed up at their home.

Five troopers then headed out to the Stiffler residence. They called the home prior to approaching it, asking that Russell Stiffler, who was born in 1923, meet them outside.

Police said Stiffler stepped outside, but ignored commands to show his hands or step off a front porch. He then went back inside the home for a minute, and stepped back out, again ignoring orders to show his hands, step off the porch and get on the ground, police said.

Two troopers then approached and took Stiffler to the ground. During the scuffle, Stiffler punched Trooper Scott Mackanick, police said.

Stiffler was charged with a felony count of aggravated assault, misdemeanor counts of simple assault and resisting arrest and a summary count of harassment.

He was arraigned Friday before District Judge Susanne Steffee and placed in Indiana County Jail in lieu of a $25,000 cash bond.

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