Disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges against a Blakeslee man who swore at and struggled with responding officers were dismissed last Wednesday.
Finding the man was in need of mental health treatment not criminal charges, Judge Linda Wallach Miller of the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas tossed out the two misdemeanor charges arising from a September 14 incident.
“The district justice acknowledges that the defendant is in need of mental health treatment. The police believed the defendant was in need of mental health treatment, but everyone connected with this case thus far is persecuting him as a criminal,” the judge said.
Assistant Public Defender Michael A. Ventrella argued the “fighting” charged by police was caused “completely by officers attempting to place handcuffs on a person they had been called to assist in preventing a suicide.” Police said the man was refusing to enter an ambulance to go to the Pocono Medical Center.
Ventrella acknowledged the man was drunk and had been threatening suicide with a large butcher knife. He said the defendant’s cursing at officers was not “disorderly conduct in itself. Officers have to have thicker skin than that,” Ventrella said.