ALLEGHENY TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A former officer with the Frazer Township Police Department was arrested after a brief standoff with police.
He has been charged with multiple counts of unlawful use of police equipment, stalking, child pornography, harassment, and terroristic threats.
On September 10, 2021, at 2:06 p.m., officers were called into a home on Paulownia Drive in Allegheny Township for a domestic situation with screaming in the background of the call, according to court documents.
When officers got there, they noticed the estranged wife of Michael McSherry and two children in the driveway behind parked cars. She was visibly upset and the officers were familiar with domestic incidents occurring at the home before.
Michael McSherry was a police officer and military veteran with some mental health issues in the past. His estranged wife said that he was “going crazy in the house” and that he was crying about not having any money and not working. He said that he was going to “kill himself just like the guy did at Northmoreland Park.” He then threw everything off the counter, threw a chair, and the house phone while screaming and getting in her face. McSherry also had his gun on him and said that if he died, it was her fault. The estranged wife said that he shoved her and their son while walking to the bathroom and locking the door. She then took the children out of the house.
Officers at the home called for backup from surrounding stations to assist with the escalating situation. They were able to get the wife and the children into a neighbor’s home safely. Once additional officers arrived, they surrounded the home and attempted to make contact with McSherry on his cell phone and called over an intercom for him to come out of the house.
Police then decided that it was a dangerous situation and it was time to call in the SWAT team. After reaching out to other officers, one of them was able to get a hold of McSherry. McSherry demanded weapons to be put away but police told him that they couldn’t do that and proceeded to wait on the SWAT team to get there.
Before the team arrived, McSherry left the home. He was immediately handcuffed and placed into the police cruiser. The call to SWAT was canceled and he was transported to the police station. Police officers took statements from witnesses and told the wife that she would have to report to the hospital to get checked out.
While talking to the wife, police learned that McSherry used license plate readers during his time at the Frazer Township Police Department to track her car. She explained that this was not a one-time occurrence and that he had also hacked into the nanny cams at her home and had videos of her on his phone. She also told police that he had placed a GPS tracker on her car.
Police took a 9mm Glock 43 gun from the bathroom with a loaded clip in the pipe of the gun, and a black holster. At the police station, when officers told McSherry that he would be transported to the same hospital as his estranged wife, he said that he did not want to be anywhere near his wife. He said that he had said “stupid things to her” but that he didn’t mean it. While on the way to the hospital, police learned that McSherry had tested positive for COVID-19 nine days prior to the incident.
When McSherry arrived to the hospital, police had him tested again for COVID-19. The result was positive and police told staff at the hospital that he was very dangerous and needed to be on serious supervision.
On September 19, officers spoke with McSherry’s wife at the Allegheny Township Police Station. She brought several printouts that detailed the tracking of her and her mother’s vehicle while he was employed. She said that McSherry left her and their two children in April to go to Florida. He told her that he couldn’t take the stress of New Kensington and the kids were always making too much noise while he tried to sleep. She stated that she would talk to him periodically and at one point, around June 15, she called police to tell them that she was worried that McSherry was going to come back to the area.
McSherry’s estranged wife reported that when he returned from Florida in July, the relationship was over and that she wanted nothing to do with him. He was allowed to come to the house for brief periods of time to see the kids with her parents there, but McSherry usually ended up yelling at her.
On September 14, McSherry was seen on video yelling and screaming out of control. He smashed his cell phone and then used his laptop to call her on video through Facebook Messenger 73 times in 65 minutes between 12:19 a.m. and 1:24 a.m.
She stated that on September 16, he sent her a text that showed her how he had accessed her phone account and was looking at messages she had sent back in 2013, because he “wanted to know if she was talking to other people when they met. She said that she had no idea how he accessed that account because her phone has always been under her dad’s name.
McSherry’s estranged wife said that she was terrified of him for the safety of herself and her children. The wife had video on her phone of McSherry screaming and completely out of control, calling her numerous derogatory names and telling her how she would “feel the wrath of him” and so would “everyone else.” The video of him screaming at her as loud as he could, occurred on August 19.
She said that when he came back to the area, he never moved back in with her and the children. He was hired to be a police officer at Frazer Township. While working there, he started looking up the victim’s license plate from as far back as March 2021 and sent screenshots from his phone.
She said that she found out about the tracking device on her car when she was going to get a present for her dad’s birthday. She got a call from McSherry, asking where she was. When she told him, he called her a liar and that he knew she was at Kunckle Park. She found the tracking device under the dashboard at the end of March.
The chief of the department was then notified and he was going to audit the cruiser that McSherry had used. On Sept. 20, police executed two search warrants, one at Allegheny Valley Hospital and the other at a residence on Carlisle Street in Natrona Heights, where McSherry was living. They found three more phones, a Chromebook computer, and a box with the name “Bouncie” on it, which was believed to be the device that McSherry used to put on his wife’s car.
During a search of McSherry’s phone, it was found that he had a naked photo of her from when she was a victim of sexting nearly 15 years ago. Officers asked McSherry’s wife if she had ever given him that photo. She said she had not, and that she had never told him about it. McSherry obtained the photo from a revenge porn website and even had text messages telling him that the girl in the photo was only 14 years old.
On September 24, police learned that McSherry logged into his License Plate Reader account 85 times between August 28 and September 15 to check the registration of the victim. McSherry had not used the system while on duty.