Man held for trial in assault at Pa. hospital

Security officer says man kneed him in the back


July 25--A security officer testified on Thursday that he suffered spasms and pain requiring continuing medical treatment because he was kneed in the back by a Greensburg man at Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg.

During a preliminary hearing, guard Justin Konchak identified Bradley W. Wolfe, 40, as his assailant.

"My legs were spasming so bad, and my blood pressure was so high," Konchak said.

Wolfe was held for trial on charges of aggravated assault and terroristic threats by Greensburg District Judge James Albert.

Wolfe kneed him after being told he couldn't smoke a cigarette early on the morning of July 17, Konchak testified.

"His nose was touching my nose ... and he was yelling," Konchak said of the exchange.

Wolfe, who wanted to admit himself and was described by Konchak as "intoxicated and suicidal," left the room and encountered a nurse. Wolfe then "pretty much bumped chest with (the male nurse) and became aggressive," Konchak said.

The nurse and another guard Konchak had summoned then tried to restrain Wolfe, moving him back to the room he had come from, according to testimony.

Konchak testified he reached for Wolfe's legs to secure them while the nurse and the other guard held his arms. He then got kneed, Konchak said, adding he normally doesn't have a blood pressure problem.

Wolfe threatened to kill people in the hospital several times, the security guard said.

"He even threw out threats when he got handcuffed" by Greensburg police, Konchak said.

Eric Hoffman, Westmoreland County assistant public defender, questioned Konchak about whether hospital policy allowed Wolfe to go outside and smoke.

Wolfe could, but he needed to "sign himself out" first, which he didn't do, Konchak replied. "I didn't want him to leave and not get treated," he said.

Konchak said he followed hospital policy throughout his dealings with Wolfe.

"I was being nothing but polite to him," he added.

District Judge James Albert raised Wolfe's bond from $10,000 to $20,000 straight after Assistant District Attorney Peter Flanigan noted Wolfe had a criminal record in Ohio.

Flanigan described Wolfe as "extremely violent" at the hospital and called the previous bond "generous."

In seeking lower bond, Hoffman said Wolfe has medical issues that require treatment. Wolfe planned to be with his girlfriend if he were released and did not pose a "further danger to the community," Hoffman said.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

Copyright 2014 - Tribune-Review, Greensburg, Pa.