Westmoreland County woman facing child endangerment and assault charges after allegedly striking a police officer and doctor

By Amanda Klein | November 5, 2018

Police have charged a South Greensburg woman with child endangerment and assaulting a police officer during a welfare check and then assaulting an emergency room doctor on Saturday.

Jessica L. Morelli, 29, faces child endangerment charges,  two counts of aggravated assault, and one count each of simple assault, harassment, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest, and reckless endangering another person, according to court records.

Police alleged in a criminal complaint that they were called to Morelli’s apartment on Elm Street around 3 p.m. after neighbors reported she was acting strange.

As soon as they arrived, police said they encountered a strong odor of marijuana — so strong that it gave one officer a headache.

Morelli was leaning against the front screen door and refused to respond to an officer’s questions, the complaint said.  One officer could see an infant through a window that was crying and was “caught in the crease of the couch.”

The complaint alleged that Morelli was bent over and either refused to stand up, or was unable to.  As she started to go back into her an apartment an officer attempted to keep her from doing so and she began fighting with him, and at one point attempted to grab his pepper spray.

After Morelli was restrained police entered the apartment and observed that the infant appeared to be dehydrated and his lips “were dry and cracked.” A hospital worker told police that the infant appeared to have not been bathed.

Also, while at the hospital, Morelli is alleged in the filing to have punched an emergency room doctor.

Police said the infant was eventually turned over to the custody of Westmoreland County Children and Youth Services.

Morelli is being held in the Westmoreland County Prison in lieu of a $25,000 bond and is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on Nov. 13.

Amanda Klein can be contacted at amanda.klein@grantstreetnews.com

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