MOUNT PLEASANT, Pa. — It started with a controversial decision by a newly elected Sharpsburg judge. Judge Matt Rudzki has only been on the bench for about a month, but was mayor of Sharpsburg and on council before that.
He was the judge originally assigned to Rodrick Hatten’s case. Hatten was charged with an attempted carjacking in Bethel Park. Despite having charges in 20 other states, Rudzki released him on a non-monetary bond. Bethel Park Police say Hatten immediately reoffended when he was let off.
The judge’s decision was highly criticized, and folks on social media made their voices clear. That includes a Pleasant Hills police officer who, some say, took things to a different level and put the judge and his family in danger.
The Pleasant Hills cop, who we’re not naming because he hasn’t been charged with a crime or disciplined, took to Facebook and wrote:
“Let this be an eye opener. You are the only one in control of your safety. Until the dirt bags realize there will be immediate repercussions for their actions they will continue.”
What followed read: “Support your local businesses” and included the address to a local gun shop.
But the post didn’t end there.
It continued with: “Or better yet drop this guy off near the judge’s house” and listed his family’s street.
That’s where some, including former Sharpsburg councilman Joe Simbari, believe this officer put the judge and his family in danger.
“That’s insanity. That is totally, totally insane,” Simbari tells Channel 11. “Add the extra layer of this is a police officer -- a person who’s supposed to protect and serve -- that’s totally unacceptable, totally unacceptable.”
The Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office says they were made aware of the posts and talked to the judge to ensure he was safe around the clock.
“This magistrate’s family shouldn’t have to deal with the things he does daily,” Simbari added. “His decisions he makes shouldn’t come home.”
The Pleasant Hills police chief and mayor tell Channel 11 this is a personnel matter, and they’re unable to comment.
We did hear from Rudzki’s office late in the day. They say they’re not going to comment on ongoing investigations.
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