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Lawyer: Pittsburgh police officer's intensity a repeat

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Friday, March 22, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

A Pittsburgh police officer's alleged use of excessive force at a Station Square nightclub is “strikingly similar” to allegations from an incident involving the same officer three years ago, a Pittsburgh lawyer said on Thursday.

Edward Lojak Jr., 28, suffered a cracked rib, a broken nose and other injuries when Detective David Honick tackled him on Saturday outside Whim Night Club.

Honick, who joined the force in November 2003, is similarly accused in a federal civil lawsuit of breaking an Apollo man's cheekbone in three places on Feb. 27, 2010, outside Saddle Ridge in Station Square.

Honick, who was in uniform working off-duty detail both times, declined to comment.

Taylor Condarcure, 26, said in the lawsuit filed in September that he was entering the bar with his fiancee when a group of security guards told him to leave.

Condarcure told the guards that he had not done anything wrong when Honick punched him in the face as another officer held him from behind.

Condarcure “required surgery to correct the damage done to his face,” the lawsuit stated. “He still is not able to fully open his mouth.”

Police charged Condarcure with aggravated assault, disorderly conduct and criminal trespass. A judge found him not guilty in August 2011.

In addition to Honick, Condarcure's lawsuit names four other officers, Saddle Ridge, the city and former police Chief Nate Harper as defendants.

“When you have a federal case against you and this happens — and the incidents appear to be similar — it shows that maybe there is a pattern here,” said Lojak attorney Phil DiLucente.

Honick said in a police report that he saw Lojak “running up behind” another officer “and closing on him yelling with his fists gripped tight.” A Whim security guard knocked Lojak to his knees, but he “sprung back up,” so Honick knocked him back down.

“He landed face-first on the pavement causing a laceration to his face and nose,” Honick said.

Lojak is charged with disorderly conduct, public drunkenness, drug possession, obstructing officers, aggravated harassment by a prisoner and resisting arrest.

No action has been taken against any of the officers involved.

Margaret Coleman, an attorney representing Condarcure in his lawsuit, said the incidents are “strikingly similar to one another.”

Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or abrandolph@tribweb.com.

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