By Daryl Nerl
A Plainfield Township police officer suffered a ruptured disk in his back wrestling with a Schnecksville man who allegedly tried to remove the officer's gun and tried to escape arrest, according to court papers.
Richard Norman Squires Jr., 28, of 5108 Route 873 in North Whitehall Township is facing multiple charges, including two counts of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, possession of heroin and “disarming a law enforcement officer.”
Among the allegations leveled against Squires in the arrest affidavit is that he tried to remove the gun from Officer John Kowalczyk’s holster during the struggle. Later, prison guards allegedly found 20 packets of heroin on Squires.
The confrontation took place a little after 2 a.m. Oct. 1 at Bushkill Auto Sales at 498 E. Moorestown Road, police said.
According to the affidavit:
- Township Officer Douglas Possinger had his patrol car parked across the street from the auto dealer when he saw a pickup truck pull into the dealer lot. Two men, including Squires, got out and walked out of sight to the back of the building.
- Possinger went to speak with the men, who told him that they were there to look at a pickup truck that was for sale. Possinger asked for identification and received cards from both men.
- Squires provided a Pennsylvania identification card with the name Thomas Richard Squires, different than his actual name. Possinger checked on the identifications with the Northampton County Communications Center and found that there was an active arrest warrant from Dauphin County for Squires.
- Possinger returned and tried to place Squires under arrest and he ran. After a brief chase, Kowalczyk, who had also responded to the scene, tackled Squires. A wrestling match ensued with both men suffering injuries, which required medical attention. Squires was brought to Easton Hospital for treatment.
- In addition to a ruptured disk, Kowalczyk suffered injuries to his shoulder and knee. The arresting officer, Scott Zabriskie, asked the court to consider attaching Kowalczyk’s medical costs to the case with reimbursement going to the township or the officer.
- At Easton Hospital, Squires told police that he had given them his brother’s identification card, but when police checked that story, it was discovered that Thomas Richard Squires is a known alias for Richard Norman Squires Jr.
- During a search intake at Northampton County Prison, guards discovered 20 individually wrapped packets of heroin on Squires.
Squires was arraigned Thursday night before on-duty District Judge Roy Manwaring of Bethlehem and committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $15,000 bail.