Officer Dash Cam Not- Working During Assault


Investigators spent a second day canvassing this area along route 309 in West Penn Township where police say an attack happened against one of their own Wednesday evening.

Authorities say officer Melissa Ruch with West Penn Township came across a disabled vehicle along side of the road.

When she approached it, there was scuffle. According to investigators, Ruch was able to call for backup before she ended up down a 30-foot embankment, with a piece of her clothing ripped.
She was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.


 “It seems like there is an open war on police officers and it’s disheartening and something needs to be done about it.” said Michael Warivonchik, retired New Jersey Police Officer

Investigators wouldn’t release much information about the latest on the investigation but West Penn Township Police tell Eyewitness News off camera that Ruch’s vehicle was equipped with a dash cam but it was not on. The officer says it may have been in need of repair.

Warivonchik, a retired NJ police officer says dash cams are crucial. And in this case could help speed up the investigation.

 “its a tool for police officers to get information. It protects officers and the people being stopped.

Meanwhile this small town community is still trying to come to grips with what happened.
The owner of Happy’s Diner, Melissa Hasanein says Ruch is a kind and frequent customer.

 “I was shocked, we were all shocked and I  was a little sad because you don’t think this kind of thing would hit here, in this quiet community.”

Police say they are looking for a Hispanic male, around 6-feet 2-inches tall and weighing somewhere between 240 and 260 pounds.
     They are also looking for a black Nissan Maxima.
     If anyone knows anything, you are asked to call 9-1-1.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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