PITTSBURGH (AP) – A group protesting neighborhood watch guard George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the killing of Trayvon Martin have slept outside the Pittsburgh mayor’s office and posted signs at his home asking the city to investigate its treatment of Black residents.
Mayor Ravenstahl has issued a statement saying he has “heard and read” the protesters’” concerns, but says they don’t have the right to come onto private property and “frighten people’s young children” – an apparent reference to his 4-year-old son, Cooper.
The group Pittsburgh For Trayvon has also issued 14 demands to improve city conditions for blacks to city council.
Police have stepped up patrols around Ravenstahl’s home, but public safety director Michael Huss says the protesters outside the mayor’s office have been peaceful.
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Three men have been ordered to stand trial on charges ranging from conspiracy to attempted homicide for allegedly trying to steal the vehicle of Pittsburgh Steelers lineman Mike Adams, who was stabbed during the incident.
Adams has recovered and testified at a preliminary hearing Thursday against 25-year-old Michael Paranay, and 26-year-olds Dquay (dee-KWAY’) Means and Jerrell Whitlock.
Adams testified the men surrounded his vehicle where he was eating a sandwich about 3 a.m. June 1 and threatened to kill him before Whitlock stabbed him and the men ran away.
But defense attorneys say Adams’ version of events isn’t credible and they claim he instigated a confrontation with the suspects, though they wouldn’t offer specifics.
Paranay’s attorney, Randall McKinney says, “We certainly don’t want to show our hand this early in the game.”
Masked Pittsburgh cop in trouble for pic with porn star
PITTSBURGH (AP) – An unidentified police officer is facing possible discipline for having his picture taken – while wearing a unicorn mask next to a porn star who had just been thrown out of a Pittsburgh Pirates game for dancing in the aisle.
City officials say the adult entertainer, Andy Sam Dimas was in town last Saturday to dance at a local night club, but went to the Pirates game first and was ejected by security for refusing to sit down after she was seen dancing while wearing the large unicorn head.
The dancer and a friend took a picture of Dimas next to a man wearing a city police sergeant’s uniform, and posted it on the Web.
City public safety director Michael Huss says the officer may be discipline because the picture “is not the example we’re looking for.”
County guard charged with raping co-worker
PITTSBURGH (AP) – A guard at the Allegheny County Health Department building in Pittsburgh has been jailed on charges he raped a female guard after she met him for a late-night tryst while he was on-duty.
Thirty-one-year-old Donnell Stewart’s attorney, Casey White, says his client denies “any and all wrongdoing,” including charges of rape and sexual assault.
Pittsburgh police say the incident happened just after midnight June 30 after the alleged victim finished her shift at another building and drove to meet Stewart who was working an overnight shift.
Police say the woman had agreed to let Stewart perform a sex act on her as payback for his working a previous shift for her, but balked when he tried to have intercourse with her. Police say Stewart then held a stun gun to the woman’s neck while raping her.
DA, coroner to discuss ex-Rankin chief’s arrest death
WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) – Authorities are set to release their findings in the death of a former suburban Pittsburgh police chief who was being arrested outside a casino last year.
Former Rankin police Chief Darryll Briston died Dec. 15 shortly after he was hit with a stun gun and handcuffed after state police said he punched a man who was with Briston’s ex-wife at the Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington County.
Briston, who was 49, ran from police and had difficulty breathing shortly after he was handcuffed, went into cardiac arrest and died at a hospital.
Coroner Tim Warco and District Attorney Eugene Vittone have called a news conference Thursday to discuss their findings into whether Briston’s death was due to natural causes or some other reason.
Briston was fired as Rankin chief in 2004 after being indicted and eventually convicted.
Pittsburgh police cars vandalized by man with Obama beef
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh police have jailed a sharp-dressed man on charges he smashed three police cars with a large metal C-clamp, and are trying to determine if literature he was carrying criticizing President Barack Obama had anything to do with the vandalism.
Zone 5 police Cmdr. Timothy O’Connor tells WPXI-TV (http://bit.ly/15Hncnu ) that 25-year-old Anton Orlichenko was wearing a dress shirt, pants and tie when he was seen smashing the parked cars about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. Online court records don’t list an attorney for Orlichenko, who was arraigned early Thursday on charges of criminal mischief and assault – allegedly for menacing officers who arrested him.
O’Connor says federal authorities will be notified even though police “don’t know if this was politically motivated.”
The FBI and federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh couldn’t immediately say if they’ll be reviewing the case.
Pittsburgh police: Boy, 7, uses knife to take iPod
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh police say a 7-year-old boy used a folding knife to threaten a 6-year-old playmate so he could take an iPod from the child.
Police aren’t identifying or charging the suspect in the incident first publicized Tuesday by WPXI-TV. Information about the incident, which happened on July 9, emerged as the station questioned police about another incident on July 12 involving a 6-year-old boy. Police say that boy allegedly grabbed for an officer’s gun when the boy was caught stealing a bike.
Police say officers are being warned to be more alert to adult-type dangers even when dealing with younger children.
Police spokeswoman Diane Richard says police alerted the parents of the iPod robbery suspect and those of his victim and were letting those parties handle the incident.
Children under 10 cannot be charged with crimes in Pennsylvania.
Pitt trustees vote to raise tuition 3.25 percent
PITTSBURGH (AP) – The University of Pittsburgh board of trustees has voted to raise tuition 3.25 percent for students attending its main campus, and 2 percent for students at three of its satellite campuses.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (http://bit.ly/13j8hBl ) reports Wednesday’s vote means in-state students at the main campus school of arts and sciences will pay $15,985 this year, an increase of $255. Out-of-state students at the same school will pay $413 more, or $25,420 next year.
Satellite campuses in Bradford, Johnstown and Greensburg will see the 2-percent increase, with tuition at Pitt-Titusville remaining the same.
Medical school tuition will rise 5 percent.
The trustees say the overall increase is the smallest at the state-related university since 1975.