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Penn Township foundry employee gets 23 months for brandishing rifle

| Thursday, July 25, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Greensburg man will serve up to 23 months in jail for storming into the foundry where he worked with a loaded assault rifle.

Matthew D. Smith, 28, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to charges of risking catastrophe, reckless endangerment, simple assault and disorderly conduct in the May 22 incident at Perma-Cast in Penn Township.

Smith had been suspended earlier that day for “violation of work performance,” according to police. Company officials told police that Smith was aggravated and left the building after he was notified of the three-day suspension.

A short time later, witnesses said, Smith returned to the plant in an industrial park near Route 22 and rushed through a loading dock door with an AK-47 rifle, along with a handgun in his pocket. He ordered workers to leave but made no verbal threats, police said.

Employees identified Smith, who left the building two minutes after he entered. After a 12-hour manhunt, Smith surrendered to authorities in Monroeville.

In court on Wednesday, Westmoreland County Judge Al Bell sentenced Smith to serve three to 23 months in the county jail and three additional years on probation. Although Smith is immediately eligible for parole, Bell ordered that he remain in jail until he undergoes a mental health evaluation.

Bell ordered that Smith may not own or possess any guns during his probation period.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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