NANTICOKE — A man claiming to have hepatitis C attempted to “power snot” blood from his nose at a Nanticoke officer who was struck several times by saliva while investigating a violent domestic dispute on Monday night, police say.
Police arrested Matthew J. Houseknecht, 29, of Italy Street, Mocanaqua, after his girlfriend claimed he punched her several times inside her residence just after 10 p.m.
After Houseknecht was handcuffed, he told the officer he has the hepatitis C virus, court records say. Hepatitis C is spread through contact with infected blood, and it causes liver inflammation.
According to a criminal complaint:
Police responded to West Green Street and encountered a woman crying hysterically. She claimed Houseknecht pushed her to the floor and punched her in the face during an argument.
Houseknecht told the officer he has hepatitis C as he was being handcuffed. He dropped a cigarette from his mouth and asked for a napkin or a tissue due to a nose bleed.
When the officer told Houseknecht he didn’t have any tissues, Houseknecht asked if he could get down on the ground and blow his nose in the grass.
When denied, Houseknecht “flipped out” and asked police if they wanted blood and snot all over the rear seat of the cruiser.
Houseknecht then turned his head and spit saliva that struck an officer in the face.
The officer held Houseknecht’s face away as he continued to spit and attempted to “power snot” blood from his nose.
The suspect also kicked an officer in the stomach during a struggle.
Houseknecht finally calmed down after he was stunned by a Taser and was transported to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. While there, he continued to spit at officers and yelled obscenities at hospital staff.
Houseknecht was arraigned Tuesday by District Judge Joseph Spagnuolo Jr. in Luzerne County Central Court on two counts of aggravated assault, and one count each of simple assault, resisting arrest and harassment. He was jailed at the county lockup for lack of $100,000 bail.
Reach Ed Lewis at 570-991-6116 or on Twitter @TLEdLewis