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FBI joins long list of groups investigating violent Pittsburgh arrest

Megan Guza
| Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, 4:19 p.m.
Video  captured by a bystander Tuesday night appears to show a city officer raining down punches on a man during an Uptown arrest, officials said.
Video captured by a bystander Tuesday night appears to show a city officer raining down punches on a man during an Uptown arrest, officials said.
The footage capture by a bystander shows the arrest of David Jones, 34, and Daniel Adelman, 47, outside PPG Paints Arena, Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler, said.
The footage capture by a bystander shows the arrest of David Jones, 34, and Daniel Adelman, 47, outside PPG Paints Arena, Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler, said.

The FBI's Pittsburgh office confirmed Friday that it is investigating an altercation and violent arrest involving an Ohio man and five Pittsburgh police officers near PPG Paints Arena.

The FBI probe makes at least five investigations into the incident, which happened late Tuesday. A bystander captured the incident on camera and a video posted to Facebook had been viewed more than 100,000 times as of Friday afternoon.

Police are conducting an internal investigation, and the Office of Municipal Investigations, Office of Professional Standards and the independent Citizens Police Review Board also initiated reviews.

“We will support whatever it takes to get all the facts on this matter, and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police will cooperate and provide any assistance necessary to the FBI during their review,” Mayor Bill Peduto said in a statement.

The Allegheny County District Attorney's Office had also said it would investigate, but stepped aside Friday because of the federal involvement. Mike Manko, spokesman for the District Attorney's Office, said the U.S. Attorney's office had a “mutual interest” in the situation. Citing a long-standing policy, Manko said the District Attorney's Office would “not conduct a parallel investigation.”

The video shows the arrests of David Jones, 34, and Daniel Adelman, 47. As police were taking Jones into custody for an outstanding warrant in Butler County, Adelman interfered and refused commands to back away, according to police.

Adelman's attorney, Phil DiLucente, said Thursday that Adelman “was trying to help.”

Video of the arrests shows an officer repeatedly punching a kneeling Adelman, of Ravenna, Ohio, and trying to force him to the ground. Another officer appears to grab Adelman's arms in an attempt to get him into a prone position.

The video also captures officers screaming obscenities during the arrest.

Officer Andrew Jacobs was assigned to desk duty Wednesday night in relation to the incident.

Tim Stevens, president of the Black Political Empowerment Project, called the incident a setback to years-long efforts to improve police-community relations.

Both Jones and Adelman, who are white, were arrested and treated at UPMC Mercy before being taken to Allegheny County Jail.

Police charged Jones with resisting arrest and flight and he remains in Allegheny County Jail on $5,000 bail. Adelman is charged with resisting arrest, public drunkenness and obstruction. He was released on $2,500 bail.

Preliminary hearings for both are scheduled for Oct. 4.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8519, mguza@tribweb.com or via Twitter @meganguzaTrib.

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