A Bethlehem man is accused of punching a city police officer in the face Friday afternoon when that officer tried to arrest him for drunk driving after he allegedly caused an accident in the North Side Downtown, according to court papers.
Craig D. Solomon, 46, of 1021 Spring St., who has six prior DUI convictions, was driving with a suspended license and an open can of malt liquor in the cup holder of his Chevy Blazer, according to the arrest affidavit.
Officer Jonathan Desiderio suffered a cut lip, a bruise under his left eye and a bruised elbow as a result of the altercation, during which a bystander jumped in to help the officer. Desiderio was treated and released at .
Solomon is facing multiple charges including aggravated assault of a police officer, fleeing police and resisting arrest, in addition to drunk driving.
According to the affidavit of probable cause:
- Just as Officer Desiderio arrived, Solomon drove away from the scene of the accident in which he allegedly struck and caused minor damage to a 2005 Nissan Altima at W. Broad and Rubel streets. Rubel is the alley than runs from Broad south behind the Main Street Commons and parallel to Main Street.
- Desiderio got back in his police cruiser and pursued Solomon who started driving east on Broad Street until traffic stopped him. At one point, Solomon stopped the Blazer, waved out the window and then pulled into a parking spot.
- Solomon quickly got out of the truck. Desiderio told Solomon that he was under arrest and grabbed him. Solomon swung his right arm and punched Desiderio in the face, then tried to pin the officer to the hood of the police cruiser with his other arm, which was in a cast.
- A bystander helped Desiderio try to subdue Solomon until other officers arrived at the scene. Solomon continued to resist after other officers arrived, trying to lift himself off the hood of the police cruiser and kicking at officers.
- An open can of Four Loko was found in the cup holder of Solomon’s truck.
Four Loko is a controversial fruit-flavored malt liquor served in candy-colored cans that the Federal Trade Commission says is the equivalent of drinking four to five beers at a time.
In addition to six prior DUIs, Solomon was also once previously convicted for driving drunk with a suspended drivers license, according to the affidavit.
Solomon was charged with aggravated assault of a police officer, resisting arrest, fleeing or eluding police, simple assault, harassment, drunk driving, drunk driving under suspension, driving under suspension, leaving the scene of an accident and failure to render aid.
Solomon was arraigned before night duty and committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $25,000 bail.