| News

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Avalon woman claims police violated her civil rights during search of home

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Friday, April 26, 2013, 11:09 a.m.

An Avalon woman claims in a federal lawsuit that an Avalon police officer and two Bellevue police officers violated her civil rights during a search of her home.

Nicole L. Anderson, age unknown, claims Avalon Officer Sean Kirley lacked probable cause for the Feb. 11, 2001, search and then falsely arrested her for heroin found in the home that belonged to her sons. Allegheny County prosecutors dropped the charges when a judge ruled the search warrant did not state probable cause and threw out the evidence, the lawsuit states.

Anderson's lawyer, Robert Mielnicki, could not be reached for comment.

Kirley could not be reached for comment, and no attorney was listed for him in court documents.

The lawsuit claims Bellevue Officers James Niglio and Earl Grubbs participated in the unlawful search.

Attorney Paul Krepps, who represents them, said the Bellevue officers were investigating a drive-by shooting and had probable cause for their search.

“That's why they went to Avalon to that house, because they had reason to believe that there might be evidence in that house related to this drive-by shooting,” Krepps said.

Once drugs were found in the house, Avalon police halted the search and obtained a new warrant, he said. The Bellevue officers pulled out to continue their investigation of the shooting, Krepps said.

The lawsuit was moved to U.S. District Court from the county court.

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

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read Allegheny

  1. Sports Deli is latest tenant to say goodbye to Parkway Center Mall
  2. Package thefts can be prevented, police, experts say
  3. Muslim civil rights group seeks investigation into shooting of Pittsburgh taxi driver
  4. Newsmaker: Norman L. Bier
  5. Man surrenders after standoff in Middle Hill District
  6. Pittsburgh nonprofit 412 Food Rescue takes surplus food to needy
  7. Pet chiropractic more popular in Western Pa., but doubts linger
  8. Terror threat doesn’t keep Pittsburgh International travelers down
  9. Alpine touring skiing movement faces uphill climb in Western Pa.
  10. Florida counties fight state on fracking plan