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.