May 03, 2017
The Harrisburg mayoral debate Tuesday night had a party crasher.
Five Democratic primary candidates, including incumbent and local media shunner Eric Papenfuse, crammed onto a stage at Harrisburg Community College to try and sway voters. The highlight, however, didn't come from any of them but instead when self-proclaimed socialist candidate Chris Siennick jumped onto the stage to announce his run.
Siennick, 27, a former write-in candidate for City Council, has a history of activism and confrontations with local authorities.
He was charged in 2015 for allegedly resisting arrest and spitting on a state trooper. A year later, the trooper, Ryan Luckenbaugh, was charged with excessive force for allegedly kicking Siennick in the face in response.
The DA said they stopped Siennick as he was skateboarding the wrong way down second street.
According to prosecutors, Siennick spit in Luckenbaugh's direction while he was handcuffed and Luckenbaugh kicked him in the face, telling him to "spit on that."
The DA’s office said the video also shows Luckenbaugh lied in the police reports when he said Siennick hit the patrol car with his skateboard, which never happened.
Luckenbaugh was sentenced to prison for the incident. As for Siennick's political stunt Tuesday, at least one of the five Democratic candidates liked the move. Lewis Butts told PennLive it was "entertaining" and that it would make the ratings "go through the roof."
All they have to do is get Milton Street involved, and Butts will be right.