Altoona man charged after hiding in home, punched homeowner in face

Local News

ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — An Altoona man is behind bars after police say he broke into a home, waited for a man to return home from the hospital and then punched him in the face. 

Robert P. Merlini, 74, was armed with a broken golf club when he was arrested Saturday at just after 3 p.m., according to charges filed by Altoona police. 

Merlini is accused of assaulting a man Christmas Day and when he was released from the hospital Saturday and returned home, Merlini was waiting in his basement bedroom. Police allege Merlini punched the man in the face and walked out. 

He is charged with felony burglary, misdemeanor simple assault, and related charges in Saturday’s incident and police indicated charges are pending for the alleged assault on Christmas Day. 

Bail was set at $30,000 cash. 

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