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Chief: No pressure to make arrests

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By David Hunt
Saturday, June 3, 2006

New Kensington's police chief denied Friday that burglary and assault charges were filed against a Wilkinsburg policeman because the alleged victim is the son of a local school board member.

Wilkinsburg police detective Michael J. Adams, 43, of New Kensington, and his co-defendant, Brian G. Keener Sr., 49, of Verona, are on trial in Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court on charges of burglary and assault.

Adams, who was off-duty at the time, is accused of assaulting four men at a home on Charles Avenue in New Kensington and sticking a revolver into the mouth of Anthony Febbraio, whose father, Martin Febbraio, is a New Kensington-Arnold School Board member.

New Kensington police Chief Charles Korman testified yesterday that Martin Febbraio did not pressure him to file charges in what defense attorney Tom Ceraso contends was a nonviolent confrontation.

"He never said, 'You better arrest those two?' " Ceraso asked the chief.

"He never said that," Korman replied.

"He never said, 'You better arrest him or you'll have a problem?' " Ceraso asked.

"He never said that," Korman replied.

Ceraso said Adams and Keener were searching for whoever had damaged Adams' BMW with a rock about a week earlier. He said Anthony Febbraio's sport utility vehicle was seen in the neighborhood when the vandalism occurred.

On the witness stand, Febbraio admitted to being there when another man damaged the car.

Febbraio told the jury that when Adams and Keener burst into his home, Adams stuck a gun inside his mouth.

"It was for a few seconds, if that -- enough for him to say, 'I should blow your ... brains out,'" Febbraio testified. "I was afraid for my life."

Several witnesses, including Wilkinsburg School District Superintendent Joseph Tindal, testified that Adams has a reputation for being nonviolent.

"He's known as the peacemaker in our department," Wilkinsburg police Chief Michele Krempasky told the jury.

The trial is scheduled to continue Monday.

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