Area Man Charged With Injuring Probation Officers Sentenced Up to Five Years in State Prison

CLARION BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) – An area man who fled from police and injured two probation officers during an arrest was sentenced to up to five years in state prison on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, September 8, President Judge Sara Seidle-Patton sentenced 27-year-old Zachary Thomas Kemmer, of Summerville, to the following:

– a minimum of 14 months to a maximum of 36 months confinement on a second-degree aggravated assault charge
– a minimum of six months to a maximum of 12 months confinement on a second-degree misdemeanor simple assault charge, and
– a minimum of 12 months to a maximum of 24 months confinement on a third-degree felony flight to avoid apprehension charge.

Kemmer was ordered to serve the first two sentences, on the assault charges, concurrently, and the sentence on the fleeing charge consecutively to the other sentences for a total of a minimum of 26 months and a maximum of 60 months confinement.

Kemmer pled guilty to the above charges on June 23

He is currently awaiting a transfer to SCI Smithfield.

The charges stem from incidents that occurred late last year.

According to a criminal complaint, Clarion-Based State Police began to follow a Chrysler 300 around 8:56 p.m. on October 10, 2020, and discovered the plates were registered to an individual wanted on a probation violation identified as Zachary Thomas Kemmer.

Police activated their emergency lights and siren while following the vehicle on South Street near Sixth Avenue, and the vehicle then began to increase in speed, running stop signs at South Seventh Avenue and South Eighth Avenue, then turning right onto Greenville Pike and heading south, the complaint states.

As the vehicle traveled on Greenville Pike, police observed they were traveling at 85 miles per hour in a posted 35 mile per hour zone, and the vehicle was pulling away from them appearing to straddle the centerline of the road.

Due to the high speeds and the offense for which Kemmer was wanted, police then opted to terminate the pursuit for safety reasons.

The complaint states police then went to Kemmer’s residence and spoke to a family member who reported that Kemmer was not home and was out in the Chrysler 300 that was registered to him.

On October 16, police made contact with a known individual who had related to other law enforcement that he was a passenger in Kemmer’s vehicle the night of the pursuit. The individual was then interviewed and told police that he looked down, after Kemmer sped away from the police vehicle, and saw Kemmer was driving 113 miles per hour. He also said Kemmer passed a car that was turning on the shoulder near Stoney Lonesome Road, then continued to a friend’s house where he drove his car down behind a house, the complaint states.

According to a second complaint, on September 23, Zachary Kemmer, who was on probation with Clarion County Adult Probation, reported to the probation office for a scheduled office visit and met with a probation officer. The officer requested Kemmer submit to a drug test and provide a urine sample, and as Kemmer could not provide a proper sample, he was instructed to sit in the lobby and drink some water. He then buzzed back in later, stating he was ready.

However, the complaint states that when the parole officer went back to the lobby to let Kmmer back into the office area, Kemmer was gone. The officer checked the parking lot and outdoor area but could not locate Kemmer, then attempted to call Kemmer’s phone but received no answer. The officer then left Kemmer a text message to report back to the probation office.

Kemmer never reported back to the probation office, and a warrant was then issued for his arrest.

Around 2:55 p.m. on October 27, Clarion County Adult Probation officers requested assistance at a 5th Avenue residence after receiving information that Kemmer was possibly at the residence, the complaint states.

Switzer is also on probation, and the probation officers had received information that Kemmer was possibly at the residence.

While officers were speaking to other individuals at the residence, Kemmer reportedly came out of the bathroom in question “at full speed” and “basically tackled” one of the parole officers, driving him backward eight to ten feet up against a wall, the complaint states.

The parole officer was injured during the incident and was treated at the Clarion Hospital Emergency Room after showing signs of a concussion. The officer missed several days of work due to the injuries, the complaint notes.

After releasing the first parole officer, Kemmer was then tackled by other officers and fell to the floor of the living room. The officers attempted to take Kemmer into custody, but he reportedly refused to submit to arrest and was then able to get up off the floor and flee toward the front door of the residence, according to the complaint.

Officer Zerfoss, of the Clarion Borough Police, was at the doorway when Kemmer exited the residence and deployed his taser on Kemmer. Kemmer made it outside, turned right, and attempted to run, but a parole officer was able to tackle him to the ground. He reportedly continued to resist and was “dry stunned” several times while on the ground while approximately five to six law enforcement officers attempted to get him handcuffed and safely into custody.

It took several more minutes to get Kemmer into handcuffs as he continued to struggle.

A second parole officer was also injured during the struggle, suffering injuries to his face and right arm in the process of attempting to arrest Kemmer, the complaint states.

Kemmer was interviewed at the Clarion County Jail on October 30. He reportedly told police that after walking out of his probation appointment on September 23, he had been “on the run from probation” for over a month. He told police that he began staying at the 5th Avenue residence on October 10.

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