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Plea agreement offered in Monessen stun gun case

| Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, 12:35 a.m.

A Monessen man who allegedly took a stun gun from a city police officer during a struggle faces trial in Westmoreland County Court.

Marcus Johnson, 23, of 524 10th St., waived his right to a preliminary hearing Friday before Magisterial District Judge Joseph Dalfonso in Monessen.

Johnson is charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault, one felony count of disarming a law enforcement officer and misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance and unlawful restraint-serious bodily injury.

Under the terms of a tentative plea agreement, the aggravated assault and unlawful restraint charges would be dismissed.

Johnson would be sentenced to two to 23 months in jail, with credit for time served from Sept. 1 through Oct. 29, according to court documents.

The deal must be approved by a common pleas judge.

The incident allegedly occurred after police were called to a 535 Ninth St. residence just before 7 a.m. Sept. 1 to remove Johnson.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, a person identified only as Lisa told police Johnson was upstairs.

Officer Rebekah Shrader and Lt. Carl Fronzaglio went upstairs to speak to Johnson and learned he allegedly was keeping Rochesia Winters from leaving the room.

The officers allegedly gave three verbal commands to open the door and received no response before Johnson partially opened the door and refused to let Winters out.

According to the complaint, Fronzaglio forced open the door and told Johnson to get his shoes and leave.

When Johnson refused, Fronzaglio told the suspect he was under arrest. Johnson allegedly resisted by “pushing away” and “swinging his arms” while hurling racial slurs at the pair.

As Johnson began to tussle with Fronzaglio, Shrader unsuccessfully attempted to stun the suspect with her Taser, police contend.

When Shrader again attempted to shock Johnson, he allegedly grabbed her wrist and took the weapon.

Both Shrader and Fronzaglio suffered minor injuries during the struggle.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, the officers were able to pin Johnson against a wall and place him in handcuffs.

After being placed in a patrol car, Johnson allegedly attempted to break the back passenger window.

During a search at the police station, Fronzaglio allegedly found suspected cocaine in Johnson's pocket.

Johnson is scheduled to appear 1:15 p.m. Oct. 29 in Westmoreland County Plea Court.

Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jsellew@tribweb.com or 724-684-2667.

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