Man describes events leading up to police standoff in South Side



PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh police said they were called the South Side Monday morning for a report of a robbery that later turned into a standoff.

According to police, the situation started when the suspect, Ben Gergerich, tried to shoot and stab someone before running into a home on Baldauf Street just before 4 a.m.

Officers responded to the home where a standoff took place.

“The actor refused to open the door at which time, due to the fact that a weapon had been fired by the actor, we secured the area and notified the SWAT team,” Pittsburgh Police Cmdr. Eric Holmes said.

Gergerich eventually surrendered when police used gas.

On Tuesday Channel 11’s Vince Sims talked with the man who Gergerich is accused of trying to shoot, Eddie Watton.

Watton said he just got out of a friend’s car about 2 a.m. when Gergerich pulled up behind him yelling.

“He had a knife in his hand and started coming at me swearing” Watton said.

Watton said he had “no idea why this stranger was coming after me” and he did whatever he could to get away.

“I just kept running around the cars yelling for help, but no one came out. I came back and pretty much just ran up this hill,” Watton said.

Watton said a friend of his eventually heard the commotion and drove to pick him up. According to Watton, they followed Gergerich as he drove to a nearby house so they could get his license plate number for police.

Watton said while he was on the phone with police, Gergerich fired shots at them.

“All of a sudden shots were fired when I was about 20 yards from him,” Watton said.

Gergerich remains in jail facing several charges, including aggravated assault and resisting arrest.