PITTSBURGH - Authorities are investigating after a Fawn Township man suffered a cracked rib, broken nose and other injuries when Pittsburgh police arrested him outside a Station Square bar on Saturday, Public Safety Director Michael Huss said.
Officer Eric Engelhardt wrote in a criminal complaint that Edward Lojak “attempted to hinder” his arrest of another man, Shane Fischer.
Security had removed Fischer from Whim nightclub just after 1 p.m. Saturday, and when Fischer tried to return to the bar, Engelhardt grabbed his arm to arrest him, the complaint said.
Fischer struggled with Engelhardt, and when Lojak approached Engelhardt from behind, a security worker pushed Lojak to his knees, the complaint said.
Detective David Honick, who was working an off-duty detail, pushed Lojak down when he stood up and walked toward Engelhardt again, the complaint said.
Engelhardt wrote that “due to his highly intoxicated state,” Lojak did not brace himself and fell face first onto the concrete, breaking his nose and causing him to bleed from the mouth.
When Officer Timothy Novosel handcuffed Lojak and moved him to a sitting position on the curb, Lojak called him a name and spit blood in his face, the complaint said.
Honick took Lojak to UPMC Mercy, where a nurse found a pill believed to be ecstasy and a pill bottle in his pockets, the complaint said. He was admitted to UPMC Mercy overnight for treatment.
Lojak’s defense attorney Phil DiLucente said there is cellphone video of the incident that tells a different story.
"According to the eyewitnesses, he wasn't being disruptive or disorderly at all. I understand if someone becomes disorderly he or she could be charged with that, but the force that was used in this case, when someone was not
being disorderly, is alarming," DiLucente said.
Police charged Lojak, 28, with disorderly conduct, public drunkenness, drug possession, obstructing officers, aggravated harassment by a prisoner and resisting arrest.
Channel 11's news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.