HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) – A Westmoreland County man is behind bars for allegedly assaulting a state trooper after kids had accidentally thrown a football into his yard.
According to Brenda Mise, all was well at her home along Skyline Drive Sunday until one of her younger relatives overthrew a receiver in the back yard.
The ball went into the neighbor’s yard — no big deal, except for the people living next door.
Tonight on KDKA. A HEMPFIELD township man is in jail after he battled State Troopers. Police were called to his house after he allegedly took a football that landed in his back yard. The folks who owned the ball just wanted to get the ball back not a fight. Details tonight.
— Ross Guidotti (@RossGuidotti) September 7, 2020
According to Mise, a woman identified as Sharon Martino walked out, grabbed the ball and took it inside.
With the football now inside Martino’s household, the family went next door and asked if they could have the ball back. The answer was no.
“She was told they were gonna keep the ball a few days to teach the kids a lesson,” says Mise.
After several appeals to get the ball back, Mise family members reluctantly called the state police to see if they could help. “And then it escalated from there,” says Mise.
When troopers arrived and asked for the ball back, a man identified as Joseph Martino said it was his mom’s house and his mom’s call. The trooper said ok and that he’d go talk to his mom.
“He started toward the house and that’s when the man threatened him and ran after him and grabbed him,” says Mise.
Investigators say 60-year-old Martino threatened to kill the trooper. Martino and the two troopers allegedly went at it at the bottom of the basement stairs until Martino was handcuffed.
Mise tells KDKA she and other family members are sorry the situation ended in a physical confrontation because in the end: “We just wanted the football back.”
According to Mise, after the situation the troopers went over to the kids and explained that they had done nothing wrong and sometimes adults don’t handle situations the way they should.
Martino is in the Westmoreland County Jail facing charges like aggravated assault. He’s held on $100,000 bond. The cost of the football he got put in jail over: $18.