SWAT descends on Brookline home; suspect arrested elsewhere
Pittsburgh police, heavily armed SWAT officers, bomb squad technicians and narcotics officers descended on Friday afternoon on a normally quiet residential street in Brookline because a man who was being evicted from his home told court officials he had a gun and would use it.
Officers found no one home at the rental house in the 900 block of Fordham Avenue.
The tenant, Gregg A. Tchirkow, 34, was arrested outside a Brookline pharmacy and charged with making terroristic threats and various drug violations. He was awaiting arraignment in Night Court.
“I have kids. We were all scared today,” said one neighbor, Katie Pancake, holding one of her two young children.
Residents said they have been concerned since May 2012 when, according to various court documents, Tchirkow pleaded guilty to a weapons charge for firing a gun into the ground during a dispute with a neighbor.
“I always say hello to him, and he says ‘Hi,' but everybody is leery of him. He is so paranoid, he padlocks his front gate,” Pancake said.
According to court documents:
Tchirkow was issued a notice of eviction by District Judge James A. Motznik this month for being more than $1,600 behind in his rent. He was given until Friday to vacate the house.
When he left the courtroom, a clerk in Motznik's office heard Tchirkow say, “I can't be accused of murder if (I) shoot someone under duress.”
Later, he called Motznik's office and said, “No one is going to put a gun to my head and force me out of my residence.”
Tchirkow made six calls to Motznik's office in the ensuing days, including one this week when he said: “If they come to evict me at the end of the week, I have a gun, and I ain't afraid to use it.”
When SWAT officers stopped Tchirkow's vehicle in the pharmacy parking lot Friday and searched him and the vehicle for weapons, they reportedly found 14 pills for anxiety, which were not prescribed to him, as well as a small amount of marijuana and more than $1,000 in cash.
It is not clear what, if anything, was found inside the house.
Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820 or email@example.com.
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 receiver Heyward-Bey looks to make most of chance
- Steelers know fast start could be key to upcoming season
- Steelers formalize practice squad
- W.Va. smoking ban a strong precedent, advocates say
- Scientists dismiss dire outlook for Western Pennsylvania winter weather
- Former Clairton, Pitt cornerback Coles enrolls at Duquesne
- Rossi: Cole perfect pitcher to start pivotal series for Pirates
- New Ohiopyle park manager ready for big challenge that comes with job
- Western Pennsylvania workers’ names echo different career paths
- Northampton man has four major drug arrests in Western Pa. since 2009
- Shadyside’s A Fair in the Park arts-and-crafts fest marks ‘benchmark year’