PITTSBURGH — Off-duty New Kensington police Officer Joseph Martino is accused of beating up his girlfriend after drinking at a party in Squirrel Hill early Saturday morning.
The victim laid out the terrifying details for police after a witness called 911.
The woman told police while driving home from a bar, Martino, who was extremely drunk, got irritated and verbally abusive with her as she tried to use the GPS.
The victim said she tried to get out of the SUV, but Martino grabbed her by the hair and pulled her back in, according to the criminal complaint. She said that’s when Martino punched her in the face about 20 times.
According to the complaint, the victim said she managed to get out of the SUV, but Martino followed her, hitting her head off the side of the truck.
She said she ran toward the emergency room at Children’s Hospital. Martino chased her into the lobby before going back into the SUV.
When police arrived, they said the woman was visibly shaken, was crying and had no shoes on. Also, the straps on her dress were broken. Her face was red, bruised and swollen.
Police later found Martino’s car in a parking lot in the 2700 block of Penn Avenue.
He has been charged with unlawful restraint and simple assault.
Martino is not working while the department is investigating.
His preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 21.
New Kensington Police Chief Robert Deringer released the following statement:
“The New Kensington Police Department is aware of an incident involving one of its officers that has resulted in the filing of criminal charges. The conduct occurred off duty and we are investigating. The officer is not currently working while the investigation proceeds. As this is a personnel matter, we will have no further comment at this time.”
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