Former Pittsburgh police officer, mayoral candidate charged for allegedly threatening man with gun

PITTSBURGH — Former Pittsburgh Candidate for Mayor and former Pittsburgh Police officer Tony Moreno is facing simple assault and harassment charges. A neighbor alleges he came out onto his front porch Monday and pointed a shotgun at him. Moreno tells Channel 11 a very different story and says his neighbor is the one who should be criminally charged because of animal neglect and cruelty.

“There are animals inside this house that are in danger,” Moreno tells Channel 11 News. “They’re suffering, they’re dying.”

Tony Moreno says those dogs are the reason he called police on Monday, before he was criminally charged. Ten to 15 dogs at a home on McClure Avenue in Brighton Heights are part of an animal neglect investigation. Over the weekend, officers served a warrant at the house. Court documents say they removed puppies, but they didn’t have space at the shelter for all of the dogs. The man at the center of the investigation into animal neglect will help relinquish the dogs to Humane Animal Rescue two at a time when more space is available. That man is not facing criminal charges at this time, but Channel 11 is told the investigation is ongoing.

Court documents say that on Monday, when his dog ran out of the house and he came out and caught it, Moreno walked out onto his porch with a shotgun, pointed it at the neighbor and said, “if you leave, I will shoot your tires out.”  An officer says he also heard those words over the phone. Moreno says what his neighbor accused him of isn’t true.

“I didn’t do what they said I did,” Moreno said. “I didn’t commit a crime and the real story is there are dying animals still in this house.”

Two neighbors tell us that after police left they saw the man put a dog that appeared to be dead in the trunk of his car. Neighbors say the man told them he was going to the vet.

“If it’s alive, who puts their dog in the trunk?” Moreno asks. “It’s sad, it’s a lot, it’s difficult.”

Moreno said he’ll handle what happens in court, but someone needs to advocate for the animals living in squalor, including urine and feces.

“I don’t understand this - I used to do this - you make it happen. You don’t leave living beings to suffer, but it did happen,” Moreno continued.

The puppies are all at Humane Animal Rescue, and Moreno tells us they’re expected to make a full recovery before they go to loving homes.