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Wilkinsburg cop's assault trial opens

| Thursday, June 1, 2006

Westmoreland County prosecutors say an off-duty Wilkinsburg police detective slapped four men in the face with his badge and stuck a revolver in one man's mouth in New Kensington in June 2004. Trial opened this morning for Michael J. Adams, 43, and codefendant Brian G. Keener Sr., 49, who are charged with burglary and assault.

Police say the two men were seeking out the people who had thrown a rock on Adams' BMW about a week before. Their search led them to 411 Charles Ave. in New Kensington, where they smashed a Jeep with a baseball bat and confronted four men inside, police say.

District attorney John Peck said Adams pointed a gun at the four men before putting the gun in victim Anthony Febbraio's mouth.

Witness Lorna Cropcho, a neighbor, said she and her husband went over to the house because they heard yelling, including innocence pleas to damaging the BMW. When she said she was going to call the police, she said Adams flashed his Wilkinsburg badge and said, “I am the (expletive) police.”

Wilkinsburg police did not return a call for comment, but Adams' lawyer, Tom Ceraso, said his client remains on the force.

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