ZERBE TOWNSHIP — Three people have been charged for their alleged role in several brawls at a 16th birthday party last month at the Trevorton VFW that left a bartender with multiple injuries.
Darrien Arnold suffered a concussion, a sprained right arm, a bloody and bruised nose and a broken tooth in an assault that occurred around 2 a.m. Dec. 15. Also injured was Justin Bashore, who had several bruises, cuts and swelling about his body and head, according to a criminal complaint.
Two misdemeanor counts of simple assault and a count of criminal trespass, as well as summary offenses of harassment and disorderly conduct, were leveled against Joshua E. Hatzel, 32, of 750 Mahanoy St., Trevorton; Hunter M. Harris, 20, of 335 Susquehanna St., Trevorton; and Austin E. Harris, 21, of 231 N. Eighth St., Trevorton, for allegedly assaulting Arnold and Bashore.
Austin Harris faces an additional count of felony aggravated assault for allegedly punching Arnold in the mouth, causing the broken tooth, according to the charges filed Thursday by Trooper Dominic Picerno, of state police at Stonington.
The complaint says Picerno responded to a fight at the establishment at 2:26 a.m. He was told by Arnold that the VFW was rented for a 16th birthday party, but toward the end of the event, several brawls took place, during which she was assaulted.
Arnold claims Hatzel pulled her hair and struck her. Hunter Harris, she said, punched her in the nose and said, “Don’t worry, I’m not done with you” and “I’ll find you,” followed by an expletive.
She also alleges that Austin Harris punched her in the mouth and said, “Good, now I’m done with you,” which was also followed by an expletive.
Bashore told the trooper that during the brawl Hatzel and several others ganged up on him, striking him numerous times, the complaint states.
On Dec. 16, Picerno interviewed Hatzel, who alleged Bashore was antagonizing “everybody all night,” especially Tamie Shingara, because she scratched his face. He admitted that during a brawl he grabbed Bashore’s legs and took him to the ground, but denied striking Arnold. He also said he punched Bashore “a couple of times” and was trying to “defend” the birthday family.
Hunter Harris, in a separate interview with the trooper, said Shingara was struck by “somebody,” so he joined the brawl to help his family. He added that the rest of the incident “was a blur.” He also denied striking Arnold.
Austin Harris initially denied being at the VFW. However, after further questioning by Picerno, he claimed Bashore started everything and admitted to striking him in order to protect his family, police said.
Harris said he suffered a minor injury to his lip and left arm during one of the brawls.
As with Hatzel and Hunter Harris, Austin Harris also denied striking Arnold.
Surveillance footage showed Hatzel, Hunter Harris and Austin Harris ganging up multiple times on Bashore, according to the complaint. It also shows Arnold being struck by Hatzel, punched in the nose by Hunter Harris, and getting hit by a “haymaker” punch thrown by Austin Harris.
Austin Harris is also shown grabbing and punching Nicholas Dalesandro, the complaint states.
A preliminary hearing for the accused is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Feb. 19. in front of Magisterial District Judge John Gembic.