FOSTER TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)— A man accused of punching a park ranger in June now faces an additional charge.
According to the police report, an officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop on John Brotzman, 57, from Freeland, for allegedly running a stop sign on June 25.
Officers say Brotzman then did a U-Turn to park in front of a house in the 300 block of Washington Street. The police officer pulled up next to Brotzman and ordered he pull over and stop the vehicle.
Police say Brotzman answered with, “for what?”
Police reports state the officer then approached Brotzman and asked for his driver’s license. Brotzman exited the vehicle, against the officer’s commands, to drop off lunch at the house he parked outside of. Police learned Brotzman was delivering lunch to his daughter’s house.
When Brotzman returned to the vehicle, officers claim he told them his niece was shot and killed at the intersection of Wyoming Avenue and Washington Street and he ran the stop sign because it causes him difficulty driving through that area.
After Brotzman told the officer this, the affidavit states officers informed him he was under arrest and put their hands on Brotzman’s chest to stop him from going to his car.
Officers claim they then grabbed Brotzman’s arm but he was able to pull away with force. Police say Brotzman told officers he did not want to be placed in handcuffs.
A Hickory Run State Park Ranger arrived on the scene according to the complaint, and assisted the arresting officer in placing Brotzman into custody. Police were unable to successfully take him into custody.
According to police, Brotzman pulled away and punched the park ranger in the face.
Officers said they then took Brotzman to the ground and were still unable to take him into custody. That’s when a bystander assisted officers in taking the man into custody.
Brotzman was evaluated by EMS shortly after because of a laceration to his right eye, according to the report. Brotzman was transported to the Lehigh Valley Hazleton Hospital (LVHH) for further evaluation.
According to online court records, prior to this incident, Brotzman has only faced two “summary” charges. A summary charge is a minor infraction considered less serious than a misdemeanor.
Brotzman was originally facing one count of aggravated assault, simple assault, failure to stop at a stop sign, and other related charges, but all charges were dismissed at the time.
According to the district court, the police officer who arrested Brotzman refiled the same exact charges on September 27 as well as an additional charge for failing to carry his driver’s license.