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Penguins fan accused of choking officer during arrest at game

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PITTSBURGH - A Taser was used on a Pittsburgh Penguins fan after he allegedly choked an officer as he was being arrested during Monday night’s game at PPG Paints Arena, police said.

Jason Miller, 29, of Altoona, was asked to leave for being unruly. He refused and told officers, “I’m not leaving. I paid too much for the seat,” according to a criminal complaint.

 

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When the officer attempted to pull Miller from his seat, he resisted and pulled away, the complaint said. Miller then had his girlfriend start recording the encounter using a cellphone.

Police said once Miller was escorted from his seat to the concourse, he again pulled away from the officer, who grabbed him by the collar and forced him to the ground, the complaint said. Miller continued attempts to break away from the officer and refused orders, the complaint said.

After a struggle, officers were able to get Miller onto an elevator, at which point his girlfriend tried to get on and was pushed away when she refused to get off and began screaming, police said.

Police said Miller broke free and pinned one officer in the corner of the elevator, using his arm to choke her, according to the complaint. A Taser was used to stop Miller.

A witness told Channel 11 on Tuesday an account that differs from the criminal complaint. Ben Tucci was sitting behind Miller and recorded the confrontation on his phone. 

"He had obviously been drinking, but he wasn't being rude or nasty toward other fans," Tucci said. "As soon as (police) got him out of the actual row, the cop who had been called some names by him put the Taser right to the guy's neck and just started zapping him. ... I don't think they were out of line to maybe ask him to leave the game, but in my opinion, he shouldn't have been Tasered." 

Pittsburgh police write in their report that they didn't use the Taser until the two officers were in the elevator with Miller, when Miller allegedly attacked the female officer. 

Miller is charged with aggravated assault, strangulation, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. He has a lengthy criminal history that includes assault and harassment.