RURAL VALLEY (KDKA) — Josey Hawkins, 20, of Rural Valley, in Armstrong County, is recovering at home after suffering a concussion, sprained neck and abrasions on the head, face and back.

Hawkins told KDKA-TV that he was repeatedly sucker punched by a state trooper at the Kittanning Barracks on Wednesday, when he was brought in for questioning about a crime, which he knew nothing about.

“After the first hit, I yelled, ‘Get him off me!’ And he got three more hits in before the corporal came in and then another cop came in and pulled him off me,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins concedes that he may have done something which may be misconstrued. When he was being roughed up, he was pinned against a chair and his foot was on the trooper’s leg. Kerry Hawkins, Josey’s dad, told KDKA-TV that he’s been told his son may face a charge of assaulting a police officer because of that.

The elder Hawkins says that makes no sense to him, because if officials believed his son really assaulted an officer, why would they have released him from custody?

A supervisor at the Kittanning State Police confirm that an incident did occur there Wednesday, and it’s under investigation. Calls to the Armstrong County District Attorney and to State Police headquarters in Harrisburg were not returned to KDKA-TV.

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