Woman shown being punched by York police officer in viral video to serve 3 months of house arrest

Melissa Penn

YORK — A woman who was shown on video being repeatedly struck by a police officer during an altercation outside a York City nightclub will spend three months under house arrest after pleading guilty to two offenses, according to court documents.

Melissa Dyann Penn, 21, of South Duke Street, pleaded guilty Monday to resisting arrest and defiant trespass. A charge of aggravated assault was dismissed as part of her plea agreement, court documents say.

Penn was arrested in early July after she was involved in an altercation with a York City police officer outside Pandora’s Box, on the 400 block of East Market Street. A bystander posted video of her arrest — showing her being struck repeatedly by Officer Galen Detweiller — on Facebook. The video went viral, garnering more than 34,000 views within a day of being posted. As of this month, the video has been viewed more than 100,000 times.

Screenshot taken off video posted to Facebook.

Within days of the video surfacing, York City police issued a statement in response.

“We just want the public to not rush to judgment,” York police Chief Wes Kahley said in the statement. “People go on and they post things that they cut out, or what they want people to know and they say things to incite problems and right now, we don’t need that. We need to look at the totality of everything that happened and make a determination from there.”

Surveillance video released to police by the management at Pandora’s Box appeared to support the police’s version of events.

“The police tried their best not to get involved, then finally when they did, the girl resisted and wound up on the floor,” manager Angel Matias told FOX43 at the time.

 

In addition to her three months of house arrest, Penn was also sentenced to two years’ probation and received a lifetime band from Pandora’s Box, court records state.