SUNBURY — What police say was a drunken tenant of a house on fire, assaulted a Sunbury fire police officer Friday night. The fire scene on Seventh Street was where police police chief Brad Hare tells us, Samuel Swartzlander wanted to get to the fire scene, and was turned away by Michael Colyer, a Sunbury fire police officer.
Arrest papers say Swartzlander was visibly intoxicated, had slurred speech and unable to walk steadily. Hare said, Colyer said he would call the police if Swartzlander did not retreat, at which time Swartzlander said, “If you are going to call police, I’ll give you something to call them about,” and proceeded to punch Colyer in the head.
Sunbury fire police captain Bruce Colyer tells WKOK, his son Michael is okay and was not badly hurt. Hare said the victim was able to return to duty. Fire fighters restrained Swartzlander and turned him over to police.
On-call Magisterial District Judge Michael Diehl tells us, Swartzlander was arraigned via video Saturday morning on a charge of aggravated assault, among other charges, and bail is set at $50,000. Swartzlander is in the Northumberland County Prison.
The fire heavily damaged the home at 40 S. Seventh Street, cause of the fire is under investigation, there were no other injuries.