Police chief pushed by suspect during struggle at Hazleton hospital

By Ed Lewis - [email protected] | January 2nd, 2018 12:43 pm - updated: 6:36 pm.

HAZLETON — A Hazleton man pushed the city’s police chief before he was subdued by four officers and security during an incident at Lehigh Valley Hospital — Hazleton on Sunday, court papers say.

Cristopher Rodriguez Fernandez, 26, of Cleveland Street, was also hit with a

Taser during the incident.

According to a criminal complaint:

Police investigated a disorderly crowd in the hospital’s lobby at about 10:20 p.m. and were directed to Fernandez who was on a cell phone.

Chief Jerry Speziale directed Fernandez several times to end the call.

Fernandez pushed Speziale twice and turned away screaming while continuing to talk on the phone.

When Fernandez was told he was under arrest, he fought with officers.

Two officers fell during the struggle, causing doors to be knocked open that freely swung.

Fernandez resisted being handcuffed and refused to place his arms and hands behind his back.

Speziale punched Fernandez in the ribs to get a hold of his right arm and wrist.

Fernandez was eventually handcuffed after he was stunned by a Taser.

Hospital security and a nurse were also involved in the struggle.

Fernandez was released on his own recognizance after he was arraigned by District Judge Michael Dotzel in Wilkes-Barre Township on charges of resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and two counts of harassment.