Thursday, March 23, 2017

Pittsburgh police charge 11 people in riot outside county jail; recover weapons

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Pittsburgh PA March 23 2017 Pittsburgh police Monday night arrested 11 people — at least some of whom were armed with various weapons, including a gun -— following what they called a riot Downtown outside the Allegheny County Jail and Pittsburgh Municipal Court Building.
Police said three people attacked officers who were responding to the disturbance, according to a police press release issued Tuesday afternoon. Two were identified as Tyler Kobel and James Griffin.
Jail staff called 911 around 7:43 p.m. Monday about a group of up to 25 protesters who were becoming disorderly. Police said they threw rocks at the jail, set off fireworks and broke windows.
Two Pittsburgh police bicycle officers arrived first and found people dressed in dark clothing wearing masks or bandannas. They were launching “large-scale fireworks” from an area between the jail and the Parkway East. One person was playing a drum and others were banging sticks and metal pipes.
The group dispersed. Police said Mr. Kobel scuffled with an officer trying to arrest him. Another person, who was not identified, hit the officer in the back. Then the officer and Mr. Kobel  fell to the ground. The officer drew his Taser and arrested Mr. Kobel. The officer hurt his shoulder.
Police said Mr. Griffin charged the second bike officer and scuffled with him, also, before he was taken into custody.
The fleeing group split up with some running outbound down Second Avenue and others running down the bicycle trail toward Downtown. Police said they broke side mirrors off vehicles, smashed rear windows in an Allegheny County sheriff’s office vehicle and a civilian vehicle, defaced the court building with graffiti and damaged the arm of a mechanical gate to a driveway.
Police eventually arrested 11 people whom they said were carrying knives, drugs and weapons.
Officers found a can of Mace, marijuana, weighted gloves, brass knuckles and a pocket knife in Mr. Griffin’s backpack, the press release said. They also found a loaded 9-mm pistol, which he is licensed to carry, along with an extra magazine. Police said that one of his boots had metal spikes “intertwined in the laces.”
In addition to Mr. Kobel and Mr. Griffin, both 25, police arrested: Blanca Chaves-Alvarez, 29; Nicholas Baynes Hodgson, 36; Anthony Michael Ambroso, 26; Liam Scott Swanson, 25; Thomas B. stiller, Jr. 26; Joshua Shande Szymanski, 22; Ian Matthew Greynolds, 22; Raina Christine Legrand, 23; and Morgan Lindsey Prescott, 22.
Home addresses were not immediately available.

Criminal charges include disorderly conduct, possessing instruments of crime, causing/risking a catastrophe, criminal conspiracy, criminal mischief, institutional vandalism, aggravated assault, possessing a small amount of marijuana, possessing prohibited offensive weapons, and resisting arrest.

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