After spending more than a month in jail following the altercation with Port Authority of Allegheny County police that also led to the fatal shooting of his son, Bruce Kelley Sr. was released on bond March 3. Three days later, he was back in the Allegheny County jail for allegedly violating the terms of that bond.
As a condition of his release to his sister-in-law in Washington County, Kelley was ordered to have no contact with Port Authority. But authority spokesman Jim Ritchie said in a statement that Kelley was rearrested after officers found him intoxicated on Port Authority property in Wilkinsburg.
“Port Authority Police arrested Bruce Kelley, Sr., on Sunday night and, after consulting with the District Attorney’s Office, and charged him with defiant trespass, prohibited offensive weapons and public intoxication,” he said.
“A police dispatcher saw an individual through video surveillance at Port Authority’s Wilkinsburg Station about 7:30 pm who appeared intoxicated. The individual was identified by officers as Bruce Kelley, Sr. He was arrested without incident and later transported to the Allegheny County Jail. He had brass knuckles with an attached knife on him at the time of the arrest.”
During his March 3 preliminary hearing, the 60-year-old Kelley was ordered held for trial on a single count of aggravated assault, a second aggravated assault charge and one charge of resisting arrest were dropped.
Those charges stemmed from the Jan. 31 encounter between Kelley, his son Bruce Kelley Jr. and port authority officers that erupted into a fight and ultimately led to officers shooting the younger Kelley multiple times after he had fatally stabbed a police dog.
Port Authority Officer Emily Hampy testified at the March 3 hearing that she and Officer Tom Adams were doing a “park and walk” patrol when they found the Kelleys drinking at a gazebo on authority property near the Wilkinsburg East Busway station.
“We just wanted to talk with them,” she told Wilkinsburg District Justice Kim Hoots, adding that Kelley Jr. began to walk away until Adams got close, then, “He charged.”
Hampy said as hey struggled with the younger Kelley, he “bear hugged” onto one of the gazebo columns. She said as she tried to pull one arm loose, he called his father for help. That was when Kelley Sr. came at her and struck he in the head.
She said she blasted him with pepper spray twice and was trying to handcuff him when the the younger Kelley pulled a knife. The officers retreated and called for backup. Officers then relocated both men, arresting Kelley Sr., and after repeated failed attempts to bring his son down with Tasers, pepper spray and batons, officer Brian O’Malley released his dog Aren even though Kelley Jr. had threatened to kill the dog.
He stabbed the dog once. O’Malley and an unnamed officer shot him 12 times. Authority police and Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala are investigating the shooting. Relatives have said they plan to file a civil rights lawsuit in connection with Kelley Jr.’s death.