Kittanning man charged in fatal incident
By Tim Karan
Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 11:21 a.m.
Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013
A Kittanning man is facing charges related to the beating death of a man early Sunday morning in a Kittanning street.
State police charged Dennis Andrew Rosenberger, 27, 120 Market St., Apt. 1, Kittanning, with simple and aggravated assault stemming from a fight along Montieth Street shortly before 2 a.m.
Police say James Peter Sullivan, 39, of Chicora, Butler County died after Rosenberger “sucker punched” him in the street.
According to arrest papers, Sullivan left the Wick City Saloon on Orr Avenue to escort several women to their cars around 1:30 a.m. At some point, he became involved in an argument with another man.
As the fight moved to Montieth Street, Rosenberger reportedly ran up to Sullivan and, according to police, punched Sullivan in the face.
Sullivan fell and struck his head on the pavement. He was knocked unconscious.
Authorities said Sullivan later died at ACMH Hospital in East Franklin as a result of a skull fracture.
Police said Rosenberger, about 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, admitted that he “sucker punched” Sullivan.
Police noted that injuries to Rosenberger's right hand apparently corroborated his confession.
An autopsy revealed that Sullivan suffered three broken ribs and a fractured skull, which has been ruled as the cause of death, according to Brian Myers, Armstrong County deputy coroner.
Rosenberger has not been charged with homicide in the case.
He was arraigned before District Judge James Owen on the assault charges and placed in the Armstrong County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond.
Police say the incident may be related to several fights that broke out early Sunday morning near an Orr Avenue bar.
They say the incident may have been witnessed by as many as 30 to 40 people.
Despite Monday's arrest, state and Kittanning police still are requesting that anyone with information about the incident contact police.
District Attorney Scott Andreassi said a review of posts on social-media sites shows numerous people have information about the fight and authorities are asking them to contact investigators directly.
Tim Karan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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