White Oak man jailed for exposure, intimidation issues
A White Oak man is in Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $3,000 bond pending a hearing on charges of ethnic intimidation and exposure of his private parts to a group of youngsters playing basketball at a borough playground.
Police said William Elyes, 54, threatened the youngsters, ages 9-18, on Tuesday and twice on Wednesday at the Larry Bishop Playground along Vermont Avenue.
“He was yelling that he would get a gun unless the basketball dribbling stopped,” police Chief Lou Bender said.
Bender said the incidents happened around 5:15 p.m. He said the group included white and black youngsters.
When Elyes confronted the group on Wednesday, Bender said, “he began yelling obscenities and racial slurs.”
Elyes left the playground, but returned and, according Bender, told the group that he had a weapon that was “locked and loaded.”
“At that point he proceeded to drop down his pants and exposed his genitals to the children,” Bender said. “Prior to his leaving he made one more threat and he walked toward his house.”
Bender said the children were panicked.
“All of them fled to nearby houses and the police were called,” the chief said. “Officer Ken Wehrli and Sgt. Bob Loera confronted Elyes at his house and found drug paraphernalia there.”
Elyes was arraigned early on Thursday in Pittsburgh before Allegheny County Common Pleas President Judge Donna Jo McDaniel.
Bender said Elyes is charged with a felony count of ethnic intimidation and misdemeanor counts of harassment, disorderly conduct, terroristic threats, indecent exposure and possession of drug paraphernalia.
According to court records the last count is listed as “prohibited acts.”
A preliminary hearing for Elyes is scheduled on Dec. 16 at 1:30 p.m. before Magisterial District Judge Thomas Miller Jr. in White Oak.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1967, or firstname.lastname@example.org.