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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. 

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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