Motorist's lawyer: Officer had violent history

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PITTSBURGH —

The attorney for a motorist attacked by an off-duty Pittsburgh police detective nearly three years ago wants a federal court jury to award the motorist money, saying "a police department can't give a badge and a gun to a man who has repeatedly attacked other people."

But an attorney for then-police Chief Nathan Harper and Deputy Chief George Trosky said those officials aren't responsible for the actions of the former detective, Bradley Walker, and therefore the city isn't either. The attorney said Walker was off-duty at the time of the incident, and was a private citizen who lost his temper.

Walker was fired and is serving four years' probation for pulling a gun, breaking the windows of motorist Jarret Fate's car, and choking Fate after an accident involving both men's cars on May 1, 2010.

 “I think it’s an issue that starts with leadership. If you tell an officer that it’s OK to do this and you’re going to get a slap on the wrist,” Fate’s attorney, Josh Autry, said.

Walker isn't in court and isn't being sued by Fate, who is seeking unspecified damages from the city.

“The fact is they know they have off-duty officers that work in bars and nightclubs, but they don’t regulate their conduct. They don’t tell them what they can and can’t do. In this case, we had an officer who was off-duty and did a lot of bad stuff,” Autry said.

Harper testified late Monday afternoon. It’s unknown what he said.