Policeman to face trial for threatening four
A Wilkinsburg police officer and another man must stand trial on charges of barging into a New Kensington home and threatening four occupants at gunpoint, a district justice ruled Friday.
Michael J. Adams, 41, of North Street, New Kensington, is accused of shoving a .38-caliber revolver into a man's mouth and threatening to shoot him. Co-defendant Brian G. Keener Sr., 47, of Westminster Drive, Verona, is accused of taking part in the June 11 attack at a home in the 400 block of Charles Avenue.
New Kensington District Justice Frank J. Pallone Jr. ordered Adams to stand trial on charges of official oppression, simple assault, reckless endangerment, terroristic threats, burglary, criminal mischief and criminal conspiracy. Three counts of reckless endangerment were dismissed. Keener faces trial on charges of burglary and conspiracy.
Witnesses said Adams accused Anthony Febbraio, 20, of New Kensington, of throwing a brick or rock at Adams' BMW.
Febbraio testified that he did not damage the car or know who did. He said he was playing video games with three other men at a friend's house when Adams and Keener knocked on the door and asked to speak to the owner of the Jeep Wrangler parked outside. Febbraio, who was driving the Jeep, said he and his three friends all came to the door but did not allow the two men inside.
Febbraio said Adams and Keener forced their way in and that Adams pulled out his handcuffs and police badge. Febbraio said Adams slapped the other three young men in the face with the badge and then pulled out a gun, shoved the barrel into Febbraio's mouth and said, "I should blow your (expletive) brains out right now."
Febbraio's mother, Susie, began crying as her son described his fear.
A neighboring woman, apparently hearing the commotion, came to the door and Adams identified himself as a police officer, Febbraio said.
New Kensington Police Chief Chuck Korman testified that a resident called him at home about the incident.
Jay Moser, who lives across the street from the house, said he called police after he saw two men arrive with a baseball bat and heard a sound he thought was them smashing Febbraio's Jeep. Moser identified one of the men as Keener but said he did not see them hit the car. Febbraio said his Jeep's taillights and side mirrors were smashed.
District Attorney John Peck called Adams and Keener "two vigilantes," but Keener's attorney, William Cercone, described it differently.
"What we have here is these two people who committed the crime of stupidity," Cercone said.
Adams' lawyer, Tom Ceraso, unsuccessfully sought to have the charges dismissed. Ceraso said Adams was not acting in an official capacity and therefore should not be charged with official oppression. Adams was off duty at the time.
Ceraso said after the hearing that Febbraio "is simply not testifying to what happened,"
Febbraio declined to comment after testifying.
"I'm livid," said his father, New Kensington-Arnold school board member Martin Febbraio. "There are four people in my house that are in hell because of this."
Adams, who was put on indefinite paid leave last month, left through the back of the magistrate's office and avoided reporters.
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.
- Steelers plan to use smart pass rush against Seattle QB Wilson
- Miami preps for ‘physical’ Pitt
- Four helicopters respond to Route 51 crash in Rostraver
- Steelers notebook: Linebacker Timmons hoping for contract extension
- Washington project ensures long-term carbon storage
- Friends, family, history lure natives back to Western Pennsylvania
- Central Catholic’s Jones plays key role in all phases
- Penguins co-owner Lemieux snuffs rumored rift with Crosby
- Penguins 4th line showing promise
- Penguins notebook: Dupuis’ intangibles provide 1st-line value
- Yahoo investors losing patience with ‘star’ CEO Marissa Mayer