Law & Justice

Hatfield Township Woman Allegedly Attacks Sister While Intoxicated


Hatfield Township Police have charged a township woman with misdemeanor second-degree simple assault after she allegedly struck her sister in the back and neck area during an argument in a Bergey Road home Aug. 2.

Joan V. Newman, 66, of the 2000 block of Bergey Road, resides at her address with her 87-year-old mother, police said. Newman was also charged with public drunkenness, disorderly conduct and harassment, according to court records.

Newman posted $25,000 bond on Thursday and was released from Montgomery County jail, per court records. A preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 15 at 9 a.m. before District Judge Kenneth Deatelhauser in Souderton.

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At 6:03 p.m. Aug. 2, police responded to the home for a report of a physical domestic dispute. The alleged victim called police and reported she was allegedly assaulted by her sister, identified as Newman, police said.

Officers arrived on scene and spoke with Newman and her mother. Police said Newman was allegedly slurring her words, was unsteady on her feet and had the odor of alcohol on her breath. Newman was also allegedly screaming and yelling incoherently during the investigation, police said.

Newman walked out of the house into her driveway and continued to scream and yell, in plain view of neighbors who were outside, according to the affidavit.

Newman continued to allegedly stumble around in driveway, nearing falling over numerous times, police said. She refused to go back into her house, police said. A portable breath test was given to Newman, who registered positive for intoxication, police said.

Newman, police said, was considered a danger to herself and others and was taken into custody for public drunkenness.

Officers interviewed the alleged victim, who said she came to the house to visit her mother, as she does not live at the residence with her sister and mother. At the time, Newman was not home.

Eventually, Newman did return home and was allegedly intoxicated, police said. Newman began an argument over old family issues, and at one point, allegedly slapped her sister on the face, according to the affidavit.

The alleged victim attempted to leave the home via a rear screened-in porch. As she exited the porch, she was allegedly hit by Newman on the upper back and lower neck area, police said.

Newman allegedly continued to threaten her sister and her 15-year-old niece, police said, as the sister attempted to get in her car. The alleged victim then fled the scene to avoid further assault.

The 15-year-old girl told police that she saw her aunt assault her mother by allegedly hitting her with the heel of her hand three times, per the affidavit. Police said the alleged victim had redness and significant swelling to her upper back area and complained of pain in her left shoulder.

Newman had charges of simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and harassment, lodged against her in a January 2013 arrest in Hatfield Township, dismissed at a February 2013 preliminary hearing by Deatelhauser, according to court records.

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