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Police arrest man who claimed to see cougars in Vandergrift

posted Jul 11, 2019, 8:28 AM by Joseph Gray

A man is awaiting a preliminary hearing after he claimed to see two cougars nearby and then jumped over a lawn chair and charged police in Vandergrift.

Police are accusing Justin John Crofutt, 37, of Ford City, of aggravated assault on an officer, resisting arrest and being under the influence during the incident on July 2. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 16.

According to an affidavit, police were sent to the Popular Street area of Vandergrift for a man who neighbors said appeared under the influence and “acting strange.” The affidavit did not state whether police believed Crofutt was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

When police arrive, they ask Crofutt what was happening and, according to the affidavit, he replied that he was seeing two cougars.

An officer asked him to walk toward police.

That’s when, police say, Crofutt hurdled a lawn chair and ran at officers.

In response, an officer touched a Taser to Crofutt’s abdomen.

Police say Crofutt fell to the ground but soon started to roll over despite being told to stay on his stomach on the ground. When Crofutt started to get up, the same officer touched him with a Taser for 5 seconds, according to police.

Crofutt was arrested and handcuffed but resisted getting inside the police car, according to the arresting officer.

Crofutt was about half way into the car when he started to kick. An officer’s hand was injured, police said.

Details were not available from police if the officer was seriously injured.

A defense attorney is not yet listed on state court records for Crofutt.

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, or via Twitter .