Leechburg mayor-elect faces charges in alleged assault of stepson
Leechburg's mayor-elect is accused of assaulting his 18-year-old stepson in their home on Thursday night.
Shawn Lerch, 38, of the 500 block of Second Street, is charged with simple assault and harassment.He was arraigned at night court and released on a $5,000 non-monetary bond pending a Nov. 27 preliminary hearing, records show.
An emergency protection-from- abuse order also was issued Thursday night by a district judge, who set Lerch's bond at $5,000. Lerch was ordered to stay at least 100 feet away from the victim and stay away from the home.
Attempts to reach Lerch were unsuccessful.
Police said they received a 911 call about 10:30 p.m. Thursday about a domestic dispute at the house.
Police say they found Lerch, the alleged victim and Lerch's wife outside.
An officer said he took a .22-caliber revolver and knife from Lerch. Neither was used in the alleged incident.
The alleged victim told police his mother and Lerch argued about moving the woman's mother.
The 18-year-old man alleged Lerch “came home drunk” and that the two of them “stood toe to toe” after Lerch allegedly called the victim's grandmother, Lerch's mother-in-law, a nasty name.According to police, Lerch grabbed the stepson's neck and slammed him down inside the house.
Lerch told police he'd had a few beers and said he and his wife started to argue. According to police, Lerch said he pushed the 18-year-old down.
Lerch was handcuffed and taken to the Leechburg police station, where he allegedly told the arresting officer there would be “repercussions.” The comment was allegedly heard by a Parks Township officer, too.
Among their duties, mayors oversee police departments in their boroughs.
He was taken to the Armstrong County Jail at 2:45 a.m. and released about 7:40 a.m. after posting bond.
Lerch, a Democrat, was on the borough's fall ballot as a Democrat and Republican.
He is scheduled to become mayor in January. He is currently a councilman.
No one answered a phone call to the Lerch residence on Friday morning. A message left for Lerch's cellphone wasn't returned.
Current Mayor Tony Roppolo and police Chief Mike Diebold declined to comment. Borough Solicitor James A. Favero didn't return numerous calls.
Lerch is accused of simple assault, which is a misdemeanor, and harassment, which is a summary charge.
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- ATI contract expires today; union reports no progress in negotiations
- Pittsburgh woman accused of shoplifting at Mills mall
- Vandergrift man accused of sexual assault
- Freeport board hires substitute superintendent
- Leechburg residents begin holiday lights campaign
- Springdale Jubilee canceled tonight; hours extended Thursday through Saturday
- Harrison officer known for sense of duty, humor
- Record amounts of rain in Alle-Kiski Valley keep golfers off course
- Brackenridge contractor charged with home improvement fraud
- Steelworkers march for contract in Harrison
- ATI, steelworkers talks remain under wraps; contract expires June 30