Pittsburgh firefighter charged in scuffle with boy at playground
A Pittsburgh firefighter is on administrative leave after police charged him in connection with a June 25 altercation with a 13-year-old boy, authorities said.
Officers found Thomas Louis D’Andrea, 46, of Greenfield, holding down the boy at the playground near his residence, police said.
The boy suffered a large lump on his head, swollen lips, and a bloody mouth, police said. The boy’s 16-year-old sister captured portions of the fight on cellphone video which she shared with police and ultimately shared on Twitter. Tribune-Review news partner WPXI shared a portion of the video.
D’Andrea told police that he saw the boy vandalizing a construction truck and called 911. He said he decided to restrain the boy until police arrived, according to a criminal complaint.
The boy told police he was “checking out” the truck and sat inside it when D’Andrea approached and told him he was calling the police, and that the boy needed to leave, officers wrote in the complaint.
They exchanged words as the boy left the truck and went to the playground, police said. The boy told officers D’Andrea swung at him and the boy dodged his fist. The boy said he swung back in self defense as a reaction to the punch, police said.
D’Andrea disputed this and told police the teen threw the first punch.
He told police he’s made multiple calls about kids playing on the construction equipment, with no response.
Police determined D’Andrea was the aggressor and filed charges of simple assault and criminal mischief against him. D’Andrea is also accused of smashing the boy’s smartphone, police said.
D’Andrea was mailed a summons notifying him of the charges. He could not be reached for comment.
The District Attorney’s Office approved the charges filed against D’Andrea and police are still investigating the incident, as is the city’s Office of Municipal Investigations.
The boy initially refused treatment, but his father called an ambulance and he was taken to UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh where he was treated for the injuries, police said. Authorities said he was also having trouble breathing after the incident due to asthma.
Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, [email protected] or via Twitter .