Share This Page

Penn Township Commissioners fire injured patrolman

| Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Penn Township commissioners last week fired an officer who was unable to pass a physical after being injured in an off-duty motorcycle crash in Monroeville last year.

Nicholas Caito, 34, had been off work since an April 15, 2013, crash that happened two months after he started a probationary period with the police department, township officials said.

The Penn Township Police Wage and Policy Committee agreed in October to extend Caito's probation until April 1, but Caito was unable to pass the physical-agility test to be able to return to work, Penn Township manager Bruce Light said.

Commissioners voted unanimously on April 16 to fire Caito.

“That's an unfortunate situation that he and we had to deal with, and I certainly sympathize with him losing his job,” police Chief John Otto said.

Caito, a former Glassport officer, said he was disappointed about the firing. The only part of the physical he failed, Caito said, was a 1.5-mile run because of pain in one of his ankles.

Caito said he consulted with a couple of attorneys and the department's union about any potential legal recourse but was advised that his options are limited because he was on probation.

After losing the full-time position, Caito said, he is trying to pick up part-time shifts in Port Vue, Liberty and Glassport.

“I'm stuck between a rock and a bigger rock,” he said. “I would like to be back in Penn Township. It's a career that people retire from.”

Caito's spot on the roster will be filled by Penn Township native Blake Danowski, 27.

Danowski, an officer in Delmont, will earn a $50,441 annual salary.

His May 5 start date is pending physical and psychological exams.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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.