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Man Spits On, Kicks Officer in the Head, Police Say

Police say the defendant shouted racial slurs at a separate officer and spat in his face.

A local man faces multiple felony charges after he assaulted a Phoenixville Borough Police officer and shouted racial epithets at another in Phoenixville Hospital this weekend, the department said.

According to court documents, on Sunday at 3:07 a.m., police were dispatched to the hospital when two nurses reported that William Joseph Gruber, 21, was acting in an unruly and threatening manner. Gruber was reportedly yelling at the staff, having removed all his monitors, and refused to return to his hospital bed.

When officers arrived at the scene, they demanded the Phoenixville man sit. Police say the defendant didn’t comply, and squared his body toward them in a threatening way. An officer then pulled out a pair of handcuffs, which Gruber is alleged to have swatted away, sending them flying across the hospital floor. Police say the officer then tried to grab Gruber’s arm, at which point the defendant turned and, according to the affidavit, kicked the officer in the back of the head and neck. Gruber was reportedly wearing thick hiking boots with a lug sole, and the officer said he was in considerable pain after the roundhouse.

The defendant was restrained and secured to the hospital bed, but he continued a loud and obscene verbal tirade. During this spiel, police say the defendant looked at a separate officer and shouted, “You [expletive] [racial slur]! Wait till I get out of here! I know where you and your family live and I know where your wife works!” He then spat in the officer’s face, according to court documents. The officer said the saliva got in his eyes, nose, and mouth.

William Joseph Gruber was charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault, an additional count of aggravated harassment and multiple misdemeanors stemming from the incident.

A preliminary hearing date has not been set. 

concerned citizen March 10, 2013 at 07:13 PM
go away
harry finster March 10, 2013 at 07:28 PM
i wouldnt call it hatred but intense dislike
hacker70 March 10, 2013 at 08:25 PM
Who cares?
Hey Jude March 14, 2013 at 09:45 PM
Compassionate Conservative here's a news flash: you are not an expert on the use legitimate application of force to overcome resistance. The fact is society legislates the use of force against wrong doers. It is not designed as punishment as you would like to infer. And it is not a game either. Its about giving trained people the right to apply force when it is reasonalbe and necessary. No police officer needs to consider your personal thoughts and feelings when they do their job.
Used to live in the Ville,,,,, March 15, 2013 at 03:03 PM
I find these comments so darn disturbing,,and extremely disrespectful. To those of you trashing the Phoenixville PD. If one of these officers saved your childs life would you thank him and carry on with your bashing? If they took a bullet for you, pulled you from a burning car, caught the person who just held a knife to your throat, raped your sister,beat up your brother, If he got the guy who sold drugs to your kids, or he shot because he was trying to car jack you. If he was the first one on the scene while your parent or husband/wife lay dying on the floor and he revived them, or found your child who ran away or was kidnapped, If he went to school to scare the bully who was intimidating your child....WHAT is it you would say about him then???? No matter how you feel about them personally, these are the things a police officer took an oath to do for you..wether he likes you or not,,,,he is trained and he will put his life on the line for you. Even if you spit in his face or slandered his name all over the internet, he is still your best friend in time of danger, Try to remember that when your acting so damn tough behind your computers running your mouths about the very same people who are sworn to PROTECT YOU !!!! I can not belive how low some of you will go...disgusting !!!
Used to live in the Ville,,,,, March 15, 2013 at 04:49 PM
What really makes me sad is the fact the police officers who got bashed in this article have possibly read it or not, but for sake of my reply let's say they did...imagine how he must feel after reading it ok..then he gets a call, a life or death situation that needs him on his A game because with one slip up someone can lose their life. What if your the one he is there to protect and serve, but after reading this crap just can't shake it, he is after all human you know...he often works 12 plus hours a day for several days in a row.. Why is there such a high rate of suicide amongst law enforcement officers? Why do so many just "snap".....hmmmmm you tell me....possibly because its often a thankless job and some of the people you protect and serve curse you and spit on you and threaten you just because your there to do a job....next time you cuss or fight a police officer...ask yourself...do you really want him off his A Game?? Leave the judgeing up to God and mind your buisness,
Hey Jude March 16, 2013 at 01:30 AM
Not only was this individual non-compliant with medical treatment, but he was also dangerous to other patients.To be clear: Doctors and nurses have many patients and responsibilities and cannot be distracted or endangered. The law has a provision for the justified use of force (look that up compassionate conservative). Not only do Police officers have a special responsibility but they have a duty and obligation to act in defense of the patients and doctors. That does not need to sit well with all of you, but you do need to understand it.
Hey Jude March 16, 2013 at 01:38 AM
And btw Compassionate Conservative and the rest of you...where is your outrage over the suspect hurling racial invectives at the officer? What if a person of reasonable sensitivity (black, white, Hispanic, other) heard that while in the hospital? While applying normal social standards to the situation I think we can all agree its disturbing, unnecessary, and illegal. The emergency room is not a place for you all to connect with your damaged inner child. Its in you. When you needed nurturing you were used like an ashtray. I'm sorry you grew up in a house where dreams to to die, but keep your filth out of the hospital. Please.
harry finster March 16, 2013 at 02:36 AM
i moved to calif to get a way from a town and school full of various types of deviates,read your paper its full of them
Hey Jude March 16, 2013 at 05:58 PM
IS THIS A JOKE: "when i moved to calif i couldnt believe how reasonable the police were compared to pa ,the police here were normal (harry finster)" Here's what sucks about your police bashing: 1. Did you move to CA and immediately check in with the police? If so, please explain why. 2. "The police here were normal [sic]" --Should be written ‘are normal.’ But while were on that did you interview every PA police officer? And every CA Officer? And do you have some special DNA or powers of observation to qualify your assessment? Can you name any CA police officers that would agree with your assessment? Do you have any named PA police officers that would agree with your assessment? Are you aware that all CA and PA officers have passed psychological testing by licensed professionals? Explain your research data. The average citizen has .5 interactions with police per year, so explain your proximity to law enforcement sources. 3. You have never spent five minutes in the front seat of a police car and yet you feel you are an expert on all law enforcement issues. To apply that logic, you should also be an FAA certified pilot because you boarded a plane and sat in the passenger seat. So please...give Phoenixville a rest and continue pushing a shopping cart along the Santa Monica Freeway.
venus27 March 16, 2013 at 06:03 PM
This is so entertaining! I don't care what others think, because all of this is just making me laugh XD .
harry finster March 16, 2013 at 06:12 PM
living in pa true story ,i was going to party when i was under 18 ,police officer wanted to come to meet underage girls,there are many other stories but not really interested in pursuing it . cops in ca accidently grabbed me after bank robbery ,after checking apologised bought me a cup of coffee the police chief of san francisco has law degree so he has brains and not some local red neck
Hey Jude March 16, 2013 at 06:17 PM
Is it just possible the police were acting on a complaint of underage drinking? Is it just possible that they had a duty to protect children from self destructive behavior? That seems more reasonable. But if were going with your (perceived) ability to assess prurient interests, the FBI might need you hang out in public urinals and predict who is most likely to commit a sex crime.
John March 16, 2013 at 07:30 PM
No, you moved because you would be behind bars by now you pedophile freak
John March 16, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Harry, no one cares about you, shut up freak
harry finster March 16, 2013 at 09:42 PM
i dont know how you can deny that some local officials and police are corrupt i think the guy eventually got fired
Ike March 16, 2013 at 10:24 PM
Most of the police in our boro are just like the rest of the younger GEN.....They have no respct for others. And yes back in the older days some of our cops DID beat your butt for no reason but boredom.
harry finster March 16, 2013 at 10:33 PM
ike i consider my buttocks to be a valuable item that shouldnt be kicked for no reason
harry finster March 16, 2013 at 10:37 PM
how much is therapy in phoenixville ,i may help you pay for it ,sounds like you need it
Hey Jude March 16, 2013 at 10:48 PM
There are no corrupt officials in phoenixville. As for the younger generation of officers they are indeed younger. If you take 2013 and subtract an approximate age of (25) you'll find many were born around 1988. Moving forward, they are simply more energetic and tech savvy than their counterparts and that is also found in every workforce. Phoenixville is a great community with competent elected officials.
harry finster March 16, 2013 at 11:55 PM
i guess dr child porn isnt still there, but there will be another as phoenixville attracts people that cant get jobs elsewhere and have blemishes on their records (main line failures) saying something doesnt make it true its called propaganda
Used to live in the Ville,,,,, March 17, 2013 at 11:19 AM
Well Mr "The original Harry Finster" and others like you on this thread and many others, you too constantly contribute to making Phoenixville (people) look pathetic by following this person around here and commenting negatively on everything he says. You make yourself look like the very person (people) you talk about. Someone who has something to hide so he stalks the page just to see if a certain person has posted so you can get him...Do you really know that he is a pedophile? I doubt it..its just your assumption. Just let it go already, be a bigger person, stop following him around, because truthfully, I bet most people wonder more about you then they do him. Spring is here, get out from behind you computer and go have some fun...check back like most of us do to see any new news make a contribution and leave him alone....you give him all the power by the way with your actions. Have a great St Paddy's Day ok?.....
Used to live in the Ville,,,,, March 17, 2013 at 11:36 AM
As far as the police force, I have lived in the area for 50+ years. Phnx does have a good force! Do they have some flaws? Of course they do, but I've noticed something about the people of town...if a police officer leaves and moves on...they assume he was fired.I know of two who have moved onto different areas quietly and because it wasn't plastered all over people say they "know for a fact they were fired"...I go back to, "that's the mentality of this town.....Why do people put so much time and energy dissecting a police officers life? Why don't you put that energy into the men/women on Council who just voted out your local ambulance company? Imagine laying on your living room floor clutching your chest waiting for Trappe Amb Co to answer their 911 call, when right down the street from your house are ambulances and attendants unable to help you!!!! That is the kind of stuff you all should be worried about...I mean do you really care who people sleep with? Ohhhhhh and I seriously doubt a police officer in phoenixville had sex in the back of a cruiser....up til a few years back they used to travel in pairs. And I know Cheif Kalavick would drive around keeping tabs...
harry finster March 17, 2013 at 05:21 PM
i think you missed the point
Drew May 05, 2013 at 07:55 AM
Seriously Hey Jude... Why do you defend blindly when people are actually speaking upon their own experiences? I can tell you FIRSTHAND that the police, mainly Sutton and Sousa, especially Sutton, were completely arrogant pricks who obviously relished in the power they had. Sutton for some reason loves to learn your name and make snide remarks routinely. He used to literally give me a disprderly ticket every time he passed my house, citing civilian complaints of noise... And we weren't even home! He went so far as to break into my house on one occasion because apparently me being 19 at the time meant an open alcohol container he saw on my table was probable cause... We never bothered ANYBODY but we had friends who were black and pur neighbors were racist, so they tried to force us out of our house by calling the police (three seperate neighbors) nightly. Sutton thought this was HILARIOUS. My neighbor would sit on her porch and when a black kid would come over she would yell through our door "Get these )&@$)& back to the north side we have the police on their way!". Thankfuly this old lady has passed, as have the other two ornery racist neighbors who harassed us. Sutton intentionally issued me a ticket without giving me the ticket multiple times, since we werent home, and admitted to it openly while laughing saying "You aren't welcome here, you will learn sooner or later". One ticket he never left, or the neighbors took, or something because i never received it....
Drew May 05, 2013 at 08:08 AM
(continued from previous)... Anyway having never GOTTEN the ticket, or notice of it, i was late paying. I went to answer my door, assuming it was the pizza we ordered, and there is Sutton with a big grin "Mr. X, I have some good news and bad news for you, what would you like first?" "Bad News" I replied... "Place your hand behind your back, you have the right to remain silent, anything you say or do ..."(you know the rest). I asked what the good news was after being SHACKLED and marched 3 blocks to the station to be processed (still not being told any reason). He told me that was the good news too, but from his perspective... I got RORed that evening (he arrested me at 5pm friday night- shocking... He tried to get me so i had to spend a weekend!) by a judge who knew the Phoenixville police force had a reputation for bullying young adults with extremely flimsy and often non existant reasoning, and he said he was extremely disturbed that i was arrested before the weekend as an obvious attempt to keep me, especially since he saw NO WARRANT (he told me that he didnt even see an active warrant). The consolate who took me to the judge actually drove me home personally and apologized on behalf of what the PD had done. When I got home, officer Sutton was walking from my house, smiling, said "congrats". He had just posted my 24 hour warrant notice. AFTER PERSONALLY PUTTING ME IN A HOLDING CELL FOR IT!! 11 years ago, i rember it vividly. They did worse after that until i left town.
Drew May 05, 2013 at 08:25 AM
Its a shame because I also have met some extremely nice officers who are friendly and down to earth. Perhaps Sutton has changed since then, but i can tell you firsthand, he loved to screw up people lives that he didnt like. I still have no idea what I did to invoke his wrath, i have heard he is or was married to a black woman so it isnt a racism thing (im white but i had about half black and half white friends)... He would stop over after work sometimes and challenge any of us to take him on outside of work, especially my friends. They were the seek and destroy police not serve and protect. One of my friends was a known (to police) pothead, so they used that information to threaten us with daily searches of our house and car for drugs... Now when i go back i have come across very nice and respectful officers who helped me out, but i have NO respect for the way Sutton treated us. They literally followed and harassed us all over town, when they chased me out of town, they started doing it to my MOM! Sutton gae her a ticket for going 27 in a 25, and for not stopping when she did. 4 times in ONE WEEK. And he told her to "say hi to me, we miss him in the station"... i stood up to him when he pulled his illegal searches and broke into my home which i was told by a normal cop is why he hated me, but he had no right to do any of that. I am shocked he is still active, i hope he got help, but i can fully understand where this resentment of the PD is coming from, he earned it for em all
Drew May 05, 2013 at 08:37 AM
Research that, its true... These cops can be arrogant pricks. And btw, if i needed help and called them, i would be mortified if Sutton, the rotorypical bully cop, showed up. Ive moved on since then, but if ever see him in town again, i wont hesitate to show him the same respect he showed me... I am shocked he is allowed to remain on the force after all the complaints and harasent of young adults he historically has taken part in. Phoenixville PD is extremely hard on youths, you would think that they considered marijuana the equivalant of murder the way they went after someone they suspected of being a young adult weekend smoker (AKA an average person)... Especially in a town thats as stressful as that one, where any day for no reason Sutton could arrest you to prove he could... How he gets away with it i have no idea. If he ever got caught and jailed He would probably cry realizing what a waste his life of destroying the youth has been. Im sure he has done good things, but thats what he gets paid for, not to harass and seek out problems to start just to stroke his ego and his inner bully. If he werent a cop he would probably just be a homeless drunk. Inwas hoping me had ended up as such, so seeing he is still in town is a real let down. If the towns government werent so corrupt a decade ago he would be long gone. Typical anger filled hate monger...
Ike May 05, 2013 at 09:32 AM
You make a good point ,Drew.Sorry for all the crap you had to put up with. When i was a young man ,back in the 60s and a young adult , back in the 70s, the bor had some police that were nice ans some that were not so nice..Back than a few like to kick your butt for something to do. And there was nothing you could do, or you would get charged with some kind of crime. The bad ones lied more than the crimminals.NOW iam not saying all the Police were bad ,just a few. I would like to name names , but that would do no good. A few got fired for dumb stuff they did.but never for beating a kid...Back than they even took money from some .I think the fbi was called into it....... So Drew, i hope you dont hate all police . They are just like the rest of us,,YOU HAVE GOOD PEEPS AND YOU HAVE BAD PEEPS, IN ALL WALKS OF LIFE. One more thing , i do notice that some of these youung police dont know how to treat residents.SOME are very smart with thier mouths... Just like the rest of the younger generation . They dont know how to respect peeps. I DONT wht it is, didnt their parents teach them how to respect peeps, the whole gen , is like that.
harry finster May 05, 2013 at 05:29 PM
phoenixville attracts losers ,

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