MOON TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — The tranquil setting of Robin Hill Park in Moon Township is an unlikely scene for an altercation on Earth Day.
But by day’s end, Amanda Papa Wasserman, wife of state legislative candidate Garret Wasserman, was on the ground under arrest for aggravated assault, resisting arrest and trespass.
“He grabbed my arm while I was outside of the Chevron tent, and then the two behind me, like cowards, pushed me down to the ground from what I remember and they started grabbing me,” Papa Wasserman told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Tuesday. “And, yeah, I did resist — and maybe I shouldn’t say it, people say it’s against the law — but when men start grab me and hurt me, you better believe I resist.”
It began when the couple showed up at the community Earth Day event.
“I am a Green Party candidate and very heavily into environmental issues for my campaign, so Earth Day seemed like a great place to talk to voters and gather signatures,” Garret Wassermann said.
But when the couple saw a Chevron tent and table, Amanda confronted Chevron staff.
Papa Wassermann: “I noticed that they were handing out propaganda to children about how they were helping the environment so much.”
Delano: “That bothered you?”
Papa Wassermann: “Yes it did. So I went and spoke to the official about it, and I asked him nicely, just as a discussion between adults, I asked him what is Chevron doing here, and why are you giving out these lies.”
The criminal complaint filed against Papa Wasserman paints a different picture of a woman disrupting the event, refusing to move away from the Chevron table, and ultimately punching one of the officers in the face.
“He lied. He said that I punched him. I did not,” she says.
The Wassermanns say that the township and the local police were much more interested in protecting Chevron than the constitutional rights of free speech for those who came here.
And they cite as evidence that Chevron has been a sponsor of the park for a number of years.
The park does display the Chevron logo as a trails sponsor.
A preliminary hearing on the charges against Papa Wasserman is set for May 1.
For its part, Chevron referred all inquiries to the Moon police, but added that Chevron has supported Earth Day in Moon since 2014 and contributes to community programs that are fun, educational and family-oriented.
Moon Police Chief Greg Seaman says his officers gave Mrs. Wasserman many opportunities to walk away with them and be peacefully arrested without being physically arrested.