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Woman is accused of punching officer



Published: Wed, August 3, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The confrontation took place at police headquarters.

By PATRICIA MEADE

VINDICATOR CRIME REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Shannon Gressem, dissatisfied over the handling of a property dispute, is accused of yelling, "This is why police get shot!" and then punching a police captain in the face.

The 32-year-old North Versailles, Pa., woman was arraigned Tuesday in municipal court on charges of felonious assault on a police officer and resisting arrest. Judge Robert A. Douglas Jr. set bond at $6,000.

Gressem, who told the judge she's been in town visiting, will be back in court Aug. 10 for a preliminary hearing. Police said she used a closed fist to punch Capt. Martin Kane, head of the Internal Affairs Division.

The sequence of events that led to her arrest began Monday morning when Patrolmen Sam Mosca and George Wallace were told to accompany two men to 47 Whitman Lane to retrieve their construction equipment. One of the men had tried on his own to retrieve the items but was threatened by the resident and told to leave, reports show.

The equipment, eight steel frames and a wheelbarrow, was found in the Whitman Lane driveway and photographed by police before it was taken. Mosca said in his report that the resident, Andre Underwood, wanted a picture of the items but was told he'd have to take his own photo.

Lashing out

Underwood became irate and swore at the equipment owners and police, Mosca said. Gressem, who had been visiting with Underwood, told Mosca he had a bad attitude and "that's why cops get shot in this town," reports show.

Underwood and Gressem then went downtown to the police department's Internal Affairs Division to file a complaint against Mosca and Wallace.

Kane explained to Underwood and Gressem that the officers had been told to accompany the equipment owners and photograph the items. Kane said there was no basis for filing a complaint, which caused Underwood to become hostile and say numerous times, "This is why you police officers get shot," reports show.

Kane said Gressem chimed in, also saying several times, "This is why you police get shot."

Underwood and Gressem were twice told to leave. Gressem attempted to block Kane from the lobby doors by using her right arm to push him in the chest and then swung her closed fist into the left side of his face, police said.

Mosca, who witnessed the event, said he took Gressem to the ground, and she struggled to resist being handcuffed. Wallace and Patrolman Mark Crissman held Underwood back until he calmed down. Underwood was then permitted to leave the station, and Gressem was taken to jail.

meade@vindy.com




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