- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

ERIE, Pa. (AP) - A northwestern Pennsylvania man has been ordered to stand trial on charges he attacked a Neighborhood Watch official who took a picture of the suspect’s van when it was parked behind an unoccupied house.

The suspect, 45-year-old Toby Shaffer, of Erie, has told police he felt threatened when Del Birch took a picture of Shaffer’s van on July 27.

The Erie Times-News (https://bit.ly/1CDOr3R ) reports Birch, the co-coordinator of Erie’s East Bayfront Neighborhood Watch, testified at a preliminary hearing Monday.

Birch claims he offered to delete the photos if Shaffer could prove he was parked legally but, instead, was attacked by Shaffer who grabbed him, ripped his shirt, and choked Birch as the men fell to the ground.

Birch suffered a shattered orbital bone and required surgery.

Shaffer has pleaded not guilty.

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Information from: Erie Times-News, https://www.goerie.com


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