Man involved in alleged police brutality case was youth hockey volunteer

Local News

ERIE, Pa. — An arrested man who allegedly spit at Erie police officers before he was reportedly kicked in the face by a cop was an Erie youth hockey volunteer.

Patrick Gehrlein, 33, was handcuffed during a domestic dispute call on Oct. 10 when officer Justin W. Griffith, 35, kicked Gehrlein in the face.

Gehrlein suffered facial fractures around the eye and cheek during the incident.

Gehrlein is in the Erie County Prison on charges of terroristic threats, simple assault and resisting arrest.

Griffith was put on paid administrative leave and faces a simple assault charge 

According to the criminal complaint, Gehrlein spit toward officers after telling police he had AIDS. Griffith then kicked Gehrlein in the face, according to the criminal complaint.

Before the incident, he was a volunteer hockey coach for the Erie Youth Hockey Association, according to USA Hockey.

The president of the league said he was never an official coach and will no longer be allowed to volunteer once he is out of prison.

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