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Knife-wielding man shot by chief threatened to kill grandmother

Man critically injured Tuesday beat his grandmother with his fists and feet and threatened her life just two hours before he was shot

By Eric Scicchitano
The News-Item

SUNBURY, Pa. — The city man critically injured Tuesday by a policeman's bullet beat his grandmother with his fists and feet and threatened her life just two hours before he was shot, according to court records.

Erick R. Trometter, 22, of 618 Susquehanna Ave., was charged Wednesday by Sunbury police with felony aggravated assault, misdemeanor simple assault and summary harassment. He was listed in critical condition Wednesday at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, after being shot

Tuesday with a single round when he confronted Sunbury Acting Chief of Police Brad Hare.

Police said Trometter had a knife when Hare saw him walking along Mile Post Road near Shikellamy Avenue about 11:15 a.m. Tuesday. There was a warrant for his arrest related to the alleged assault of his grandmother, Amanda Trometter, 67, and Hare attempted to take him into custody. Listed at 6 feet, 290 pounds, police said Erick Trometter resisted and continued to struggle with the acting police chief after being shot with a Taser. Hare then shot his gun.

A county judge approved a temporary protection from abuse order less than one hour later. It bars Erick Trometter from any contact with his grandmother for up to three years and evicts him from their home. A hearing about the PFA is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday in courtroom No. 4 at the Northumberland County Courthouse. The petition filed by Amanda Trometter and a police affidavit accompanying Wednesday's charges each provide insight into what is alleged to have occurred in the hours before the shooting.

Fight At Home
Erick Trometter was home at about 8:30 a.m. when he entered his grandmother's bedroom. She was laying on a bed when he touched and grabbed both legs and held them up so she couldn't stand. She broke free of his grasp and shoved him out. Minutes later, Amanda Trometter entered her grandson's bedroom and sat on his bed, according to the PFA petition.

"Get out," said Erick Trometter.

"Now you know what it's like when you come into my room," replied Amanda Trometter.

Police said he repeatedly punched her legs before he sat up and kicked her in the face and body six to seven times. Amanda Trometter tried to flee, but he grabbed her hair to keep her in the room before she got away. He followed, toppling a bedroom dresser along the way, sending a TV crashing to the floor. She grabbed her purse and cell phone and ran out the back door to her car, her grandson yelling behind that he would kill her.

Amanda Trometter drove to Northumberland County Area Agency on Aging, her nose bleeding and both sides of her face red and swollen. Police were summoned.

A county employee told of past abuse between the Trometters as recent as March 14. The petition portrays it as a daily occurrence. On Monday, Amanda Trometter said her grandson hit her with a wooden broom handle. He threatens her life daily and demands money from her, the petition states. He has spit on her and pulled her hair. He was arrested in 2011 after he stabbed her with a spoon.

The 2010 Line Mountain graduate, an honors student, appealed the sentence to the stabbing, saying it was too harsh. It was denied. A federal lawsuit he filed claiming abuse at the hands of guards at Northumberland County Prison remains pending. He has yet to reply to the defendants' request to sign a release to allow access to medical records.

'Seems OK'
Trooper Mark Reasner, a community service officer at the Milton state police station, said Wednesday there was nothing new to report in the case, that it mostly remained where it left off Tuesday.

Trooper Ronald Zanella of state police at Stonington is leading the investigation. He's leading another open investigation involving a police shooting from June 2013 in which Naheem Reams, 17 at the time, was shot while the teen allegedly attempted to run over a Sunbury police officer with a vehicle.

Hare is on leave until the shooting investigation involving Trometter is completed by state police. Sgt. Christopher Blase, now the acting chief in place of Hare, said he's holding up.

"He seems OK and appears to be handling it well," Blase said Wednesday afternoon at the Sunbury station.

Another source said Hare hired an attorney in light of the investigation.

Copyright 2014 The News-Item 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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