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Hempfield man tried to disarm state trooper along I-70, police say

Paul Peirce
| Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, 1:36 p.m.
Anthony A. Muro, 38, of Hunker, was charged with trying to take a state trooper's gun during a traffic stop on Interstate 70 on Monday, Aug. 14, 2017.
Anthony A. Muro, 38, of Hunker, was charged with trying to take a state trooper's gun during a traffic stop on Interstate 70 on Monday, Aug. 14, 2017.

A Hempfield man is in the Washington County Jail on multiple criminal charges for allegedly assaulting and attempting to disarm a state trooper during a traffic stop Monday along Interstate 70 in Speers.

Anthony A. Muro, 38, of Hunker was westbound along the interstate at Washington County's border with Westmoreland when state police Cpl. John Peters tried to pull over his 2007 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck for a traffic violation about 4:30 p.m.

After Peters activated his emergency lights as he drove behind Muro, the pickup stopped in the slow lane along the busy interstate just before the Speers exit, Trooper Nathaniel Lieberum said in an affidavit.

As Peters parked his cruiser on the berm, Muro got out of his truck, leaving inside it two children, ages 3 and 9, and “aggressively approached Cpl. Peters,” Lieberum said.

Muro ignored Peters' repeated instructions to stop and return to his truck, police said.

“Cpl. Peters yelled at Muro that he was under arrest and to get on the ground. Muro did not comply,” Lieberum wrote.

As Muro continued to rush toward Peters, Lieberum said, “Peters put his hand up to stop Muro from assaulting him and attempted to holster his weapon. Murro grabbed Peters' gun and hand in an attempt to disarm him.”

Peters was forced to strike Muro with his hand in order to place him in custody and handcuff him, Lieberum said.

Muro is charged with two counts of aggravated assault and single counts of leaving an unattended child along the highway, endangering the welfare of children, disarming a law enforcement officer, simple assault, reckless endangering, harassment, highway obstruction, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, leaving an unattended vehicle along the highway and careless driving.

Muro could not post $150,000 bail and remains in jail. He does not have an attorney listed in online court documents.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled on Aug. 24 before Charleroi District Judge Larry Hopkins.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2860, ppeirce@tribweb.com or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.

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