PITTSBURGH - The man who was involved in a confrontation with a Pittsburgh police officer on Saint Patrick’s Day outside a South Side bar appeared in court Thursday and maintained his innocence.
"I'm not guilty of anything. I'm not going to plead to charges that are unfounded," said Mark Keyser, 27.
Keyser said the cellphone video of the incident proves he’s not guilty.
A bystander captured a video of Detective Frank Rende's pursuit of Keyser with his Taser drawn on March 16 outside Claddagh Irish Pub.
Rende was working off-duty outside Claddagh when a manager asked him to remove a patron, he said in a complaint. Keyser stepped between Rende and the man, he said, and he ejected both men.
The video, posted online, shows Rende following Keyser down the sidewalk. He shouts, “You want Tased?” and raises his hand with the stun gun while standing next to Keyser, who falls to the ground. Keyser is heard saying: “I tried to leave; you pushed me over.”
Keyser was asked outside the courthouse Thursday if the stun gun was used on him.
“There’s a few hundred thousand people who saw it, so they can make their own determinations. You can’t exactly grab someone’s shoulder when you’re holding a Taser,” Keyser said.
Rendee has stated from the beginning that while he did hold the Taser to Keyser’s neck, he never activated it.
Acting Police Chief Regina McDonald said a test showed the Taser was not deployed.
The FBI is looking into the matter.
A formal arraignment is scheduled for May 22.
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