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Officer says assault on Jordan Miles after he was handcuffed 'never, never happened'

James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Jordan Miles re-enters the Federal Courthouse in Downtown Pittsburgh Monday Aug. 6, 2012, after lunch on day three of jury deliberations in his civil lawsuit.

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Monday, March 17, 2014, 10:36 a.m.

An emergency room doctor who treated a Homewood man less than an hour after he was arrested testified on Monday that a twig lodged in the man's gums couldn't have caused extensive swelling on the right side of his face.

Dr. Thomas Martin first saw Jordan Miles shortly before midnight onJan. 12, 2010.

“He seemed very soft-spoken and polite,” Martin said.

Miles, 22, claims that Pittsburgh police Officers Michael Saldutte and David Sisak and then-Officer Richard Ewing violated his civil rights and used excessive force during the arrest.

The officers contend Miles was acting suspiciously and ran when they tried to question him. They claim that he violently resisted arrest and that most of his injuries were caused by Sisak tackling him through a hedge.

Sisak last week and Ewing on Monday testified that they thought Miles was on drugs because of how hard he resisted arrest.

“The way he was fighting, that was the indication,” Ewing said.

A blood test showed that Miles had no traces of alcohol or narcotics in his system, according to prior testimony.

Martin said he couldn't testify about what kind of trauma caused the swelling and abrasions on Miles' face, or whether Miles' injuries were from being repeatedly punched or from going through a hedge and landing on a hard surface.

Martin testified that he didn't notice that Miles was missing any hair, but a Homewood woman testified Monday that she saw hair and blood on the ground and in the bushes in her yard when she was leaving for work the morning after the incident.

Patricia Coleman, whose son is friends with Miles, said some of the hair was gone when she returned home from work, but the hair hanging from the hedge stayed there for several days.

Pittsburgh police Detective Lisa McCoy testified that she collected two strands of hair on the ground and a Bluetooth device from the scene 16 days later but couldn't say how long they had been there.

McCoy said she was called to the scene by two detectives from the Office of Municipal Investigations who were looking into Miles' complaint against the officers.

Miles previously testified that the officers continued to hit him in the face and choke him after he was handcuffed.

“That never happened. Never, never happened,” Ewing said.

Testimony is expected to take at least one more week in Pittsburgh federal court. A federal jury in August 2012 found that the officers did not maliciously prosecute Miles on criminal charges that were later dropped.

Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-325-4301or




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