Police: Panhandler claimed to be trooper in Latrobe
A Latrobe man who was panhandling outside a city business threatened the shop's owner and claimed to be a state trooper, police allege.
A city business owner told Latrobe Officer Michael Wigand that two men had been panhandling in front of his Main Street store for four weeks and he watched on Friday as they approached a woman in a city parking lot to solicit money.
About 2:45 p.m., the business owner confronted the men and asked one to quit harassing his customers.
One of the alleged panhandlers, identified as Kevin Cunningham, 51, in court papers, threatened to hit the store owner and claimed to be a state police trooper.
The store owner contacted Westmoreland 911.
“Dispatchers asked that (the owner) ascertain what barracks Cunningham (was) stationed out of,” Wigand wrote in an affidavit of probable cause.
Cunningham claimed to be based in the “Delmont barracks,” Wigand wrote.
There is no state police station in Delmont.
When questioned by police, Cunningham was “visibly intoxicated” and unable to stand without help from officers, according to the affidavit. Cunningham denied identifying himself as a state trooper to Wigand but said, “I have family that are police officers.”
Cunningham is charged with impersonating a public servant, harassment and public drunkenness. A summons has been issued and a Jan. 22 preliminary arraignment is scheduled before District Judge Michael Mahady.
A phone number could not be located for Cunningham and he did not have an attorney listed in online court records.
Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 â 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.