Oct. 4-POTTSVILLE - Charges against a homeless man stemming from an assault in Pottsville on Sept. 1 were dismissed Monday because prosecutors could not locate the alleged victim despite numerous attempts.
William J. Gordner, 21, was scheduled to appear before Magisterial District Judge James K. Reiley on one count each of simple assault and harassment stemming from an incident in the area of 590 Terry Reiley Way around 1:15 a.m.
Reiley dismissed the charges after the alleged victim - Matthew Shriner - was unable to be located to testify.
Andrew T. Bench, assistant district attorney, said prosecutors made several attempts to locate Shriner but were unable to do so.
Pottsville police Patrolman Tina Sullivan charged Gordner with assaulting Shriner by Gordner striking him on the back of the head with a rock in a wooded area behind the Service Access & Maintenance building.
In paperwork filed with the court, Sullivan said Shriner reported that Gordner became upset with him over something he said and that as he tried to explain it was a misunderstanding, Gordner grabbed a rock and threatened to hurt him.
Shriner said that Gordner struck him with a large rock behind his left ear, causing a large lump and bleeding that required evaluation and treatment by EMS, Sullivan said.
Sullivan said Shriner also told investigators Gordner was released from psychiatric care a day prior to the assault.
The officer also said another witness said that they spoke with Gordner, who admitted to hitting Shriner with a rock prior to leaving the area.