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Police: Woman bitten in hand during 'gang-style' fight in Sheldon Park, Harrison

Madasyn Czebiniak
| Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, 11:45 p.m.

A woman was possibly bitten in the hand during a “gang-style” fight in Harrison on Tuesday night that was caused by a dispute over a parking spot, authorities said.

The fight broke out just before 7:30 p.m. in the Sheldon Park public housing complex, which is owned and operated by the Allegheny County Housing Authority.

Several police departments responded to the scene including Harrison, Fawn, Brackenridge, Tarentum, East Deer and the housing authority, which is handling the investigation.

Allegheny County Housing Authority Chief Mike Vogel said the person who started the fight is a female resident at the complex.

He said the woman was taken to the Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh and is facing criminal charges.

“It all stems from a parking situation dispute and turned into a melee,” Vogel said. “They said there was approximately 30 people possibly fighting at the time.”

Vogel said this is the second parking situation at the complex that has been brought to his officers' attention.

He said the complex doesn't have designated parking, which can agitate residents.

“It's public parking,” he said. “You can park wherever there's an available spot.”

Vogel said the woman's daughter was possibly bitten in the hand and she and her daughter were taken to Allegheny Valley Hospital in Harrison.

Initial dispatch reports indicated that a woman may have been stabbed in the hand, but Vogel could not verify that Tuesday night.

“There was no confirmation of a particular stabbing,” Vogel said. “We might have a bite. There might have been a laceration, but there was no weapon found; there was no testimony of anybody that was interviewed that somebody actually brandished a knife and cut somebody. They thought that might have happened.”

Vogel said his officers retrieved video footage someone had taken at the scene and determined that the mother was the one who started the fight.

He said his officers went to the hospital to interview her, and she “became very combative and disorderly” toward them.

She was arrested and taken to the jail, Vogel said.

Vogel said Tuesday he didn't think the other people involved in the fight would be charged, but that could change if anything develops in their ongoing investigation.

“When something like that happens at Sheldon, we take it seriously, like all crimes,” Vogel said. “We will do a follow-up and determine who was involved, and if any additional charges are warranted, we will file them, and eviction proceedings will be forthcoming, as well.”

Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4702, mczebiniak@tribweb.com or via Twitter @maddyczebstrib.

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