Oil City Man Charged Following Scuffle With Police at UPMC Northwest Waives Hearing

| July 30, 2020

VENANGO CO., Pa. (EYT) – An Oil City man waived his hearing on Wednesday on aggravated assault and related charges from an incident in which he reportedly had a scuffle with police at UPMC Northwest.

Court documents indicate the following charges against 61-year-old James Richard Proper, of Oil City, were waived for court on Wednesday, July 29:

– Aggravated Assault – Attempts to cause or causes Bodily Injury to designated individuals, Felony 2
– Terroristic Threats With Intent To Terrorize Another, Misdemeanor 1
– Simple Assault, Misdemeanor 2
– Resist Arrest/Other Law Enforcement, Misdemeanor 2
– Disorderly Conduct Hazardous/Physical Offense, Misdemeanor 3
– Public Drunkenness And Similar Misconduct, Summary

The charges have been transferred to the Venango County Court of Common Pleas.

Proper remains free on $25,000.00 unsecured bail.

The charges stem from an incident that occurred in late May at UPMC Northwest.

Details of the case:

According to a criminal complaint, on May 21, UPMC Police were asked to remove a “combative drunk person” from the Emergency Department at UPMC Northwest.

The individual, later identified as James Proper, was “cussing” and “not listening to the nursing staff,” the complaint states.

Proper had reportedly arrived at the Emergency Department drunk three times that week, and UPMC police were then asked to take him to the lobby as he was discharged and was being “combative.” He had been repeatedly asked to remain in his room and was walking into the restricted nursing area, according to the complaint.

When one nurse asked him to return to his room, he told her to “sit the f*** down,” and then also told a doctor, “if you’re not giving me anything for pain, leave me the f*** alone,” the complaint indicates.

UPMC officers escorted Proper out of the Emergency Department and sat him in a chair, at which point he reportedly continued to be loud and referred to staff members with a derogatory term.

According to the complaint, Proper was warned and told to calm down three times and was asked for a phone number to reach someone that could give him a ride home. He then reportedly stood up and began yelling, “make me mother f*****.” He was then warned again that he could be cited for disorderly conduct and allegedly said, “go ahead mother f*****,” according to the complaint.

UPMC Police then attempted to place Proper in handcuffs, but he reportedly pulled his right fist away, pulling the one officer toward him. He then swung his fist at the officer’s torso, and the officer took him to the ground, the complaint notes.

During the struggle on the ground, Proper threw the handcuffs out of the officer’s hands, and two other officers then stepped in to assist. Proper continued to struggle and refused multiple times to allow officers to handcuff him before they finally were able to take him into custody safely, according to the complaint.

Charges were filed through Magisterial District Judge Patrick E. Lowrey’s office on June 25.

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