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Off-duty police officer dragged from vehicle during alteration

November 13, 2017 News Extra

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JEFFERSON TWP — A 20-year-old man was arrested after authorities say he dragged an off-duty police officer while driving away from the scene of a weekend altercation involving another man and a knife.

Lee J. Rapsinski of Penn Township, who is facing felony assault and other charges, is being held in the Butler County Prison on $50,000 bail.

Butler Township Patrolman Rachel Dovidio, who was not working, came upon a possible assault with a knife at about 4 p.m. Saturday, at Dinnerbell and Whitaker roads in Jefferson Township, state police said.

Dovidio reported that she saw two men — later identified as Rapsinski and Nathan Terrill — involved in a “physical altercation” in the back seat of a Ford Escape, according to court documents.

During the incident Rapsinski is accused of brandishing a knife and telling Terrill, “I'm going to kill you.”

Investigators said Dovidio approached the vehicle and identified herself as an off-duty officer. She notified state police about what she found and told the men to stay where they were.

But Rapsinski didn't listen, Instead, documents said, he got out of the vehicle, took off the license plate and entered the driver's door.

Dovidio opened the door and tried to stop Rapsinski from leaving. But he started the engine and quickly drove off, investigators said.

Rapsinski “dragged Dovidio from the door with the vehicle until she fell to the ground,” according to a police affidavit.

She was not injured and she was back at work for her regular shift today, said Butler Township police Lt. Matthew Pearson.

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