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Ohio man violently arrested near PPG Paints Arena was 'trying to help,' attorney says

Megan Guza
| Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, 6:42 p.m.
Footage capture by a bystander shows the arrest of David Jones, 34, and Daniel Adelman, 47, outside PPG Paints Arena, Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler said.
Footage capture by a bystander shows the arrest of David Jones, 34, and Daniel Adelman, 47, outside PPG Paints Arena, Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler said.
Daniel Adelman
Allegheny County
Daniel Adelman

The attorney for a man who was violently arrested by Pittsburgh police Tuesday night said his client was "trying to help" during the arrest of another man in an incident that was captured on video.

Downtown attorney Phil DiLucente said Daniel Adelman, 47, of Ravenna, Ohio, had "no intent on his part to resist arrest (or) obstruct law enforcement" during the altercation near PPG Paints Arena.

DiLucente said Adelman suffered head trauma and a separated shoulder and was being treated for concussionlike symptoms.

The attorney said he would reserve judgment on the use of force until a series of related investigations are completed.

"I will not make any irresponsible statements about police conduct," DiLucente said.

Officer Andrew Jacobs was placed on desk duty Wednesday night. He was one of five officers involved in the arrest of Adelman and David Jones, 34.

The arrest of Jones, wanted on a warrant out of Butler County, sparked the situation that is the subject of an internal investigation by city police as well as probes by the Office of Municipal Investigations, Office of Professional Standards, the Citizens Police Review Board and the District Attorney's Office.

Officer Brian Markus wrote in the criminal complaint that Jacobs called him to help identify Jones, who had previously run from police.

Markus wrote that Jones tried to run when he, Jacobs and Officer Todd Modena approached him. Modena and Jacobs were working a plainclothes details but had their badges visible, said Markus, who was in full uniform.

While the three were taking the allegedly struggling Jones into custody, Adelman ran up to the officers and ignored commands to back up, according to the complaint.

Officers Robert Palivoda and Francis Rende arrived as backup. As Markus and Modena continued placing Jones into custody, Rende, Palivoda and Jacobs began trying to take Adelman into custody, according to the complaint.

The video, which was posted to Facebook and had been viewed nearly 100,000 times as of early Thursday night, shows an officer kneeling over Adelman, who is on his hands and knees, and punching him repeatedly. The officer repositions and continues throwing punches. Another officer appears to grab Adelman's arms in an attempt to force him into a prone position.

Markus wrote that Jacobs and Palivoda used Tasers to subdue Adelman who, along with Jones, "sustained minor lacerations to the face."

Both men were treated at UPMC Mercy.

Jones is charged with resisting arrest and flight and remains in the Allegheny County Jail on $5,000 bail. Adelman is charged with resisting arrest, public drunkenness and obstruction. He was released on $2,500 bail.

Preliminary hearings for both are scheduled for Oct. 4.

Pittsburgh police Chief Scott Schubert said in a statement that the bureau's "management of use of force includes an automatic review of every incident in which force is used when making an arrest."

Mayor Bill Peduto also pledged a transparent investigation.

"Our police officers are trained to de-escalate situations," he said in a statement. "This is part of the protocol of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. We have zero tolerance for deviation to that standard."

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8519, mguza@tribweb.com or via Twitter at @meganguzaTrib.

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