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Police use Taser on man after chaos erupts in downtown Starbucks

PITTSBURGH — Police had to deploy a Taser on a man inside a busy downtown Pittsburgh Starbucks on Wednesday afternoon.

Officers swarmed the Market Square restaurant after the suspect allegedly tried to punch an officer.

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The suspect told police he was a victim, and that may have been true in the beginning, but officers say he took his frustrations out on them, ending with his arrest.

According to a criminal complaint, Barry Comeau claimed he had been assaulted by someone.


A police sergeant arrived just after noon and determined the incident only rose to the level of harassment.

That's when the sergeant said Comeau allegedly "repeated 'assaulted' numerous times" then "suddenly and aggressively stood up with a napkin in his right hand, forcing it in a punching motion into my face and yelled 'assaulted.'"

The sergeant grabbed his shoulder and Comeau allegedly "pushed back" yelling "assault" and "false arrest."

Police say they began to "fight and wrestle."

As many as nine officers were trying to subdue the man.

Posted by WPXI-TV Pittsburgh on Wednesday, March 6, 2019

In video taken by another customer in the final minutes, you can see as many as nine officers trying to subdue Comeau.

They attempted, and failed, several times to use Tasers before one finally connected.

Comeau was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital for treatment, and then to the Allegheny County Jail.

He is charged with aggravated assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.