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DA: Police Kill Sword-Wielding Man
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            A distress call from a Pennsburg resident Tuesday night regarding a member of the family, armed with a weapon, ended in tragedy. Trey Bartholomew, 27, of Valley Court, Pennsburg, was pronounced dead by EMS after being shot by an officer of the Upper Perk Police Department two blocks from his home.

            According to information released by the Montgomery County District Attorney's office, Bartholomew charged an officer wielding a samurai-type sword in the area of East Eighth Street and Long Alley. Neighbors heard three gun shots, which were fired at Bartholomew.

            Police officers immediately rendered first aid, but the man died at the scene. A sword was recovered near the body, according to information provided by Kate Delano, the director of communications for the District Attorney's office.

            The name of the police officer involved is not being released at this time, according to the news release from Delano.

            Joe Adam, chief of the local police department, did not return a phone call or an email message seeking comment prior to Wednesday afternoon's deadline. Pennsburg Mayor Charles Shagg also declined to release the name of the officer who shot Bartholomew. He deferred all related questions to Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele.

            The DA's office is investigating the incident. Anyone with any information is asked to contact Montgomery County Detectives at 610-278-3368.

            "I know these officers," said Shagg, who oversees the local police department as part of his official duties. "I know they are very professional and very responsible, that they take their police responsibilities very serious. In an incident like this, the use of force is a last resort."

            Upper Perk's officers are not equipped with body cameras, according to Pennsburg Council President Diane Stevens. She declined to comment further on the incident until the DA's office and the state police have issued a statement. 

            At 7:41 p.m. a 911 operator dispatched Upper Perk Police for a call about a family member armed with a bladed weapon threatening to harm others. According to the initial investigation, an Upper Perk police officer who arrived with his vehicle lights and siren activated encountered Bartholomew in Long Alley.

            Detectives responded to the scene following the shooting per protocol for officer-involved shootings.

            Approximately 30 minutes before the incident, Adam presented a citation to one of his officers – for helping a woman the department arrested 15 months ago come to grips with drug addiction – during a council meeting at the Pennsburg Municipal Building. The meeting, hosted on Zoom, kicked off at 7 p.m.

            Two years ago, the state police charged Bartholomew with summary disorderly conduct following an incident in East Greenville. According to authorities, on May 22, 2019, at the intersection of Main and Second streets, Bartholomew was cited for approaching a marked police vehicle, while the officer was conducting a traffic stop, with his hand on the handle of a samurai sword

            He pleaded guilty to that charge on Oct. 30, 2019 before District Magistrate Maureen Coggins, according to information posted on a state judicial website.






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