Charges added against Whitaker police officer
Suspended Whitaker police Officer William Davis was arraigned on Thursday in Pittsburgh Municipal Court on additional charges filed by the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office.
Davis, 35, of Pittsburgh, is now charged with two counts of false swearing, two counts of unsworn falsification to authorities, two counts of official oppression and one count of perjury.
Davis was released on non-monetary bond pending a hearing on April 26 at 8:30 a.m. in Pittsburgh Municipal Court.
Whitaker resident Michelle Lang complained to the county district attorney's office on Dec. 4 about Davis' execution of a search warrant on July 6 at her residence at 122 Frank St. She said Davis arrested her and her son John Michael Scott Jr. at the scene, and “illegally” seized her 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. Davis also took custody of Lang's juvenile son and placed him with a relative of Lang's.
After an investigation into the complaint, county district attorney's office detective Lyle Graber said Davis swore to and submitted false statements with the intent to mislead the magisterial district judge to obtain two different search warrants on July 6.
Graber used as an example Davis' implication in the warrant application that 122 Frank St. was the location where Scott, now 21, was shot three times on March 8, 2012. He said the shooting was actually at a residence located at 224 Frank St., where Allegheny County police later seized narcotics, drug paraphernalia and a firearm.
Graber said Davis “omitted the street number, implying not only that the shooting took place at the target residence, but that narcotics and a firearm had been seized there.”
The detective also noted Davis claimed in the search warrant affidavit that there was “a large amount of foot traffic” outside the 122 Frank St. home during police surveillance on April 30, 2012, when a report by another Whitaker officer indicated only two occasions when someone arrived at the residence and left after a short period of time.
Graber said Davis had no authorization within the search warrant to seize Lang's vehicle.
Another search warrant for which Davis applied, on July 6, was for 19 Midway Drive in West Mifflin. Graber said the officer alleged Lange also resides there. He said Davis subjected two individuals to the search warrant in trying to find evidence against Lang and Scott when Lang hasn't lived there since July 21, 2011, “according to Mon View residency records available to and supplied by West Mifflin Police Department.”
Graber said Davis perjured himself on Aug. 7 during an adjudicatory hearing of Lang's juvenile son in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. He said Davis said, “I also arrested an individual three days prior to that with a stolen firearm leaving that residence.” Graber summed up while an arrest was made of someone with a stolen firearm on July 4, that person was not observed by Davis leaving Lang's residence.
Davis is charged with criminal attempt, false swearing, criminal mischief, official oppression and unsworn falsification stemming from his alleged behavior during and after a June 27 traffic stop.
Jefferson Hills resident Danielle Newlon claimed Davis shattered her BMW's driver-side window with his firearm after she fled from him in Whitaker because she didn't believe he was a real police officer. She said Davis told her she had to pay for the damaged gun or she would be charged with fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer.
A trial is pending on those charges.
Davis was suspended without pay from Whitaker Police Department by Mayor John Karichko on Oct. 25. Whitaker council upheld that disciplinary action on Nov. 5.
“I backed him and I still back him,” Whitaker police Chief John Vargo said of charges against Davis. “I hope they apologize when he's found innocent.”
Teamsters Local 205 secretary-treasurer Carl Bailey said Whitaker officials indicated they were not going to take any action on Davis' employment until the criminal cases are over.
Davis' defense attorney, Daniel Konieczka Jr., didn't return phone calls seeking comment by presstime.
Stacy Lee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1970, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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