Share This Page

Sewickley Township worker threatened official, police say

| Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Sewickley Township employee who has been off work for six months is accused of threatening to kill a township supervisor if an employment hearing “did not go his way,” authorities said.

Barry J. Byzon, 60, was charged on Thursday with terroristic threats for allegedly threatening to shoot Wanda Layman, who serves as the township's office manager, according to a criminal complaint filed by Westmoreland County detectives.

“We've been living in fear. I'm concerned about the safety of all the (township) employees,” Layman said.

Byzon was arraigned before West Newton District Judge Charles Christner and released on $25,000 unsecured bond.

Christner ordered Byzon not to have any contact with Layman, the other two supervisors or any township employee. Byzon was ordered to turn over any weapons he might own to county detectives.

Byzon, a township employee for 14 years, could not be reached for comment. Detective Thomas Horan, who filed the charges against Byzon, could not be reached for comment.

Byzon had been on medical leave since April, a criminal complaint said. Layman declined to comment about why he was on leave.

Byzon allegedly threatened to kill Layman on Tuesday morning during a confrontation with township workers who were preparing to pave Middlemiss Road. He told them if the hearing did not go his way, “Wanda was going to be in the cemetery, and he was going to jail,” according to the affidavit.

Layman declined to comment on Byzon's employment status. His employment hearing at the township, which had been scheduled for Thursday, has been postponed.

As a result of the threat, the township hired private security for the municipal building and canceled the supervisors' meeting, which was scheduled for Oct. 17.

“We're trying to secure the township (property) to make it safe,” Layman said.

Byzon is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Oct. 28 before Christner.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.