Metro Beat 2/11: Allegheny County granting amnesty to child support scofflaws

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Western Pennsylvania’s largest county says it won’t arrest scofflaws who owe child support if they turn themselves later this week.
Allegheny County officials tell Tuesday’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ( ) they’re granting amnesty Thursday and Friday in hopes of clearing more than 2,000 bench warrants and collecting more than $20 million in outstanding child support.
Administrator Patrick Quinn tells the newspaper it’s an opportunity for people who owe money to have their cases reviewed and have their payments adjusted based on how much they make.
Allegheny County has 42,000 active child support cases. In 2013, officials collected 84 percent of money owed. That’s far above the national average.
Information from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Cops seeking suspect find him after his Greyhound bus selfie
AMBRIDGE, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania police chief says officers found a man trying to flee assault charges because he posted a selfie on Facebook while sitting on a Greyhound bus out of town.
Ambridge Chief James Mann tells the Beaver County Times ( ) that 22-year-old Donald Harrison was wanted on charges he assaulted a woman and wouldn’t let her leave her apartment after an argument Jan. 24.
An hour after the woman called police, Harrison posted the Facebook message, “IT’S TIME TO LEAVE PA.”
Police couldn’t find him right away, but officers noticed the Facebook selfie Sunday with the message saying he was headed to South Carolina, where he’s from. Police had him arrested when the bus stopped in Youngtown, Ohio.
The chief says, “We like it when dumb criminals assist us.”
Information from: Beaver County Times,
Post-shooting policy on minors won’t include shooting scene
MONROEVILLE, Pa. (AP) – A suburban Pittsburgh mall’s plan to ban minors who aren’t accompanied by adults on weekend evenings doesn’t apply to the department store where a shooting took place that is prompting the policy.
Stacey Keating, a spokeswoman for the owners of the Monroeville mall, says the policy taking effect Feb. 27 won’t apply to department stores, those with exterior entrances or the mall’s movie theaters.
Keating says the policy banning unaccompanied minors from most of the mall after 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday was already in the works, but was fast tracked after a shooting in the mall’s Macy’s store Saturday night.
That’s where police say 17-year-old Tarod Thornhill, of Penn Hills, shot another man during an argument, and wounded two bystanders. The man targeted in the shooting and one of the bystanders remain in critical condition.
Pittsburgh suspends truck driver for salting private lot
PITTSBURGH (AP) – The city of Pittsburgh has suspended a public works truck driver for a day, saying he wrongly salted a privately-owned lot during bad weather on Feb. 2 and 3.
WPXI-TV video of the allegedly illegal work prompted the internal investigation and suspension.
The city says the driver is a veteran with a spotless record. The driver, who is not being named, told city officials he was helping a Kissel Moving and Storage truck get unstuck.
But trucking company officials say they don’t park trucks in the lot in question, which is shared by other tenants of the same building. Owner Pat Kissel says the building is used for storage, but his company’s headquarters are elsewhere in the city.
Teamsters Local 249 is also looking into the punishment, saying the driver may have been questioned without union representation.
Police: Man pistol whipped, shot in Pittsburgh home invasion
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh police say a man was pistol whipped and shot in the hand and thigh during a home invasion in the city’s South Side Flats neighborhood.
Police say three masked men broke in around 11 p.m. Sunday and demanded money from the 19-year-old resident before assaulting and shooting him.
The bullet went through the resident’s hand and thigh. He’s listed in stable condition at UPMC Mercy.
Police say the suspects fled with a backpack.
75-year-old man tackles suspect, threatens to break his arm
WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) — A 75-year-old man helped in the arrest of a shoplifting suspect at a Pennsylvania mall by tackling him and threatening to break his arm if he tried to escape.
Charlie Burton, of Fombell, says he was a vendor at the Washington Crown Center mall for a gun show when he saw an officer struggling with the suspect, 29-year-old Jonathan Fekete Jr.
Police say Fekete was trying to get away after taking $200 worth of clothes from a Macy’s store Saturday.
Burton says he ran over to help, grabbed the man’s arms and forced him down. Burton says, “He started hollering his arm hurt, and I said, ‘Quit struggling or I’ll break the thing.'”
Fekete is jailed. Court records don’t list an attorney.

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