The accused praises the police officers who arrested him | News, Sports, Jobs

HOLLIDAYSBURG — A Huntingdon County man, sentenced Tuesday to five to 10 years in state prison, praised responding officers who disarmed, fought and arrested him in August 2021 at a residence in Greenfield Township.

“I can’t apologize enough to these gentlemen,” Charles McChessney, 43, of Alexandria, said in Blair County Court on Tuesday where he spoke about actions on the night of August 8, 2021, when he pointed a gun at one of the officers and fought with others.

“I’ve been back and forth in prison for the past 15 years, but I never realized how terrible things could be until that night,” McChessney said.

Police, who had a warrant for McChessney’s arrest, were given a tip on his whereabouts and attended a residence on Left Hand Gap Road, where Greenfield Township Police Officer Daniel Estep confronted Mcchessney armed in the bathroom.

Court documents say Estep initially backed down from the confrontation and then continued to talk to McChessney, who said he didn’t want to go back to jail.

Other responding officers – Freedom Township Police Chief Nathan Claycomb, Blair Township Patrolman Matthew Fleck and Hollidaysburg Patrolman Stephen Weyant – were part of the effort to get McChessney to drop his gun, before a scuffle in which officers used a stun gun to subdue McChessney.

Assistant District Attorney Derek Elensky said he watched police video of the incident in which he talked about guns being pointed in both directions. He praised Estep for having “a lot of courage.”

“It was very close to having an officer injured or killed or having (McChessney) injured or killed,” said Elensky.

Estep, who came to the sentencing, declined to speak.

Claycomb was also in court, but also made no comment.

Judge Jackie Bernard praised the responding officers for using training tactics that ended the incident without injuring the officers or McChessney.

“The circumstances could have been much worse” said the judge.

Bernard also spoke about his reaction to reading the criminal complaint supporting the charges against McChessney.

“In a short time, in a confined area… I could just read the tension in this criminal complaint,” Bernard said.

Defense attorney Anthony Kattouf also praised the officers who responded and told the judge his client remained “extremely sorry” for that night when he was drunk and suicidal.

“My client was in a bad place that night, mentally and emotionally,” said Kattouf.

Based on the negotiated plea, McChessney will have a chance to be considered for the state Department of Corrections’ drug treatment program. His sentence also calls for 10 years of supervision to follow the five to 10 years of incarceration.

McChessney pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault, applicable to all four officers, one count of failing to comply with sex registration requirements and three counts of resisting arrest.

In exchange for the pleas, additional counts for those same offenses and additional offenses, Terrorist Threats, Common Assault and Misconduct were withdrawn.

Personal Mirror Writer Kay

Stephens is at 814-946-7456.

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