Time-served for York man who assaulted deputies, cellmate and brother

Liz Evans Scolforo
  • Asasii Sweeney assaulted York County sheriff's deputies and broke two sets of their eyeglasses.
  • He pleaded no contest to stabbing his younger brother in the neck during an argument.
  • Sweeney must obey his treatment regimen or risk violating his probation/parole.

A York City man is being released from York County Prison after entering pleas to assaulting sheriff's deputies, stabbing his brother in the neck, punching his prison cellmate and making a bomb threat.

Asasii Sweeney

Asasii Yucawaambi Sweeney was sentenced Wednesday in York County Court to time-served to 23 months in prison, plus two years of probation.

The 38-year-old has been locked up since Jan. 13, 2015, according to prison records.

"Clearly this is behavior that should be prohibited," deputy prosecutor Stephen McDonald said after the hearing, but he added that "a lot of this obviously stems from some mental-health issues."

Sweeney has already served the standard-range sentences for his crimes, according to McDonald, who said Sweeney has undergone at least one mental-health evaluation to determine whether he was competent to stand trial.

Part of Sweeney's probation requires him to undergo another evaluation and to comply with any recommended treatment and counseling. If he stops taking his medication at any time over the next three years, it would violate his probation/parole and he could be sent back to prison, McDonald confirmed.

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During the hearing, defense attorney Christopher Moore mentioned Sweeney's mental-health evaluation but said he believes Sweeney understood what was going on during his plea and sentencing hearing.

After accepting the pleas and imposing sentence, presiding Common Pleas Judge Michael E. Bortner urged Sweeney to continue taking his medication.

"We don't want to see you back here," the judge told him. Sweeney said he intends to stay with family members.

Assaulted deputies: Sweeney attacked York County sheriff's deputies inside a central booking unit holding cell on Jan. 13, 2015, just hours after he'd been arrested for allegedly stabbing his brother in the neck the day before.

While being led to a holding cell by Deputy Brian Rohrbaugh, Sweeney grabbed the handle of the cell door, preventing the deputy from getting Sweeney inside it, according to court documents.

Sweeney then struggled with deputies. He head-butted Deputy Shawn Malehorn and knocked his eyeglasses off his face, then held up the glasses and said, "Take these chains off (me) and come and get them," documents state. It's believed he threw the glasses against a cell wall, officials said.

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While deputies were searching for the missing lenses, Sweeney struck Deputy Thomas Dreyer multiple times in the head, damaging his eyeglasses in the process, documents state.

At that point, Rohrbaugh stunned Sweeney with a Taser, and deputies strapped him into a restraint chair until he was taken to a local hospital, according to documents.

For the assault on deputies, Sweeney pleaded guilty to one count of assault by prisoner. He was ordered to pay restitution for destroying the deputies' glasses — $286.20 to Malehorn and $454 to Dreyer.

Brother stabbed: Sweeney pleaded no contest Wednesday to aggravated assault for allegedly attacking his brother with a knife.

Asasii and Zebulun Sweeney were arguing in Zebulun Sweeney's township home on Jan. 12, 2015, when Asasii Sweeney stabbed his younger brother in the neck, according to McDonald. His brother survived.

After responding there, officers found a large amount of marijuana packaged in both large plastic bags and sandwich bags, and also found a digital scale, police have said.

Other cases: Sweeney also entered pleas Wednesday in three other cases.

He pleaded guilty to making a bomb threat on Jan. 31, 2014, in the 31 S. Broad St. office of the York Housing Authority, where he had gone to ask whether they'd secured him housing, McDonald said.

When told he was not yet at the top of the authority's housing list, he asked whether he'd get housing quicker if he had a bomb in his coat. McDonald said Sweeney didn't have a bomb.

Sweeney pleaded guilty to criminal trespass for being on York Housing Authority property Nov. 10, 2014, after having received a letter from the authority banning him from all of their properties, McDonald said, adding he was banned after making the bomb threat.

Sweeney also pleaded guilty to simple assault for punching former cellmate Herbert McQuade in the head and breaking the man's eyeglasses on Dec. 5, 2015. He was ordered Wednesday to pay McQuade $200 in restitution for the broken glasses.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.