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PSP: Schuylkill County cop lied about roadside assault

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SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, Pa. - State Police say a West Penn Township police officer who claimed she was attacked during a traffic stop last September made it all up.

On September 2nd at about 4:56 pm Officer Melissa Ruch, reported that she was attacked by a heavy set hispanic man, in a dark colored Nissan Maxima whom she had stopped on Route 309 about a half mile south of Dove Lane. She called for backup on her portable radio at about 5:08 pm.  Responding officers found her down a steep embankment off the side of the road.

As the investigation into the incident progressed, investigators noted inconsistencies in Officer Ruch's story. She had told investigators that she had fired her Taser at her assailant causing him to fall to the ground.  An analysis of her Taser concluded that it was deployed about 35 minutes before she contacted the communication center with vehicle and operator information. Further analysis revealed that the Taser was not deployed into a person.

Charges filed today against Officer Ruch included False Alarms to Agencies of Public Safety, and False Reports to Law Enforcement Authorities.   Officer Ruch has been suspended without pay.