SRU student assaults PSP trooper, two women

Published by Joe Wells and Emma Velesig, Date: October 28, 2021

A Slippery Rock University student was arrested Oct. 22 for assaulting two women and a Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) trooper after returning from a bar.

Benjamin Newton, 21, of New Castle was being held at the Butler County Jail on a $25,000 bond after two troopers found Newton lying outside the Pine Glenn apartments. He has since posted bond and been released, according to the state’s victim notification portal, VINELink.

Before PSP arrived, a woman was helping Newton out of a car when he struck her in the face with an elbow and slammed the car door on her hand, according to court documents.

After the initial assault, a second woman came out to assist and was allegedly punched in the face by Newton.

While Newton, who police believe was “highly intoxicated,” was being loaded onto a stretcher he cleared his throat and spit on one of the troopers, according to police.

Newton is charged with one felony count of aggravated assault for spitting on the trooper and one misdemeanor charge of simple assault. He also faces three counts of harassment, one charge of public drunkenness and disorderly conduct, all summary offenses.

Newton was scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing this week in front of Judge William O’Donnell but that has been rescheduled to Dec. 29 at 1:15 p.m. in Slippery Rock.

Joe is a senior communication major with concentrations in converged journalism and digital media production. This is his second year with The Rocket and first as the news editor. With a penchant for asking tough questions, his byline can be found on more than 100 articles for The Rocket including many breaking news and investigative pieces. During the hours he’s not wearing the hat of student journalist, he spends his time as a husband, father and dog owner in Slippery Rock.

Assistant News Editor at The Rocket

Emma is a junior history major with a minor in business administration. She is the assistant news editor for her first year in the Rocket. Throughout her high school years, she was a part of the school’s newspaper and served as the editor-in-chief her senior year. Her dream is to enter the public history field and work for the Smithsonian.


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