Saturday, June 28, 2008

Off-duty officer wounds bystander, faces charges after fight

Off-duty officer wounds bystander, faces charges after fight'The gentleman who was in the physical altercation (with the officer) is an innocent victim as far as we can tell. He was just walking,' Chief Harper said.


Anonymous said...

Many of us have been following this bad cop for years.

Matt H said...

Disgraceful actions by this cop!

Anonymous said...

Suspended cop has debacle-filled past
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
By Jerome L. Sherman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

An off-duty Pittsburgh police officer who was arrested and suspended from the force this past weekend in connection with an assault on the South Side already had been facing nearly a dozen charges of misconduct before the city's Citizen Police Review Board.

According to the board's complaint, Officer Paul Abel is accused of starting a fight with his brother-in-law, Muhamid Desmond Thornton, last year at the Allegheny County Courthouse and then lying about the incident to sheriff's deputies who arrested the brother-in-law for the disturbance.

The complaint was filed on behalf of Mr. Thornton's wife.

It also accuses Officer Abel of having a "lack of sound judgment and emotional stability" because he posted his nickname, "Pit Bull," on his personal page on the Web site He wrote on the site that the name was given to him by co-workers because he has a "tendency to knock the [expletive] out of people," the complaint says.

Early Saturday, according to police investigators, Officer Abel hit a 20-year-old man in the back of the head with his gun soon after leaving Town Tavern, a Carson Street bar. The gun then went off, wounding the man in his hand.

Officer Abel, an eight-year veteran of the force based at the South Side station, faces assault and drunken driving charges because of the incident. He has been suspended without pay.

Police Chief Nate Harper hopes to complete a disciplinary action report "as quickly as possible," said Diane Richard, a police spokeswoman.

On March 7, 2007, Officer Abel's wife, Cassandra, was at the courthouse testifying against another woman in an assault case at the time of the fight between the officer and her brother, Mr. Thornton.

Officer Abel was waiting in the hall with his wife's three children when Mr. Thornton approached them to say hello. The officer warned him to stay away from the children, and then they started fighting.

Officer Abel suffered bruises and contusions to his face, legs and arms, while Mr. Thornton suffered abrasions.

The review board complaint accuses Officer Abel of being the aggressor and using "coarse" language.

Mr. Thornton faced more than a dozen charges, including aggravated assault on an officer, and he was taken to the Allegheny County Jail.

This year, a jury trial found him not guilty of all charges except disorderly conduct.

"We were surprised that the case could not be resolved short of a trial," said Giuseppe Rosselli, Mr. Thornton's defense attorney.

The review board complaint also says Officer Abel once told an employee at Banksville Elementary School, where two of his stepdaughters are students, that he was "the type of cop that busted down doors and pulled people out by their necks." He was in his police uniform at the time, the complaint says.

Officer Abel attended a hearing before the review board in March. A second hearing has been postponed because of the criminal charges, said Elizabeth Pittinger, the board's executive director.

"We don't want to be in the way of the bureau taking appropriate disciplinary actions," she said.

Saturday's incident started when an unknown man punched Officer Abel as he and his wife sat in their car at a stoplight, Chief Harper told a news conference this past weekend.

While his wife ran back to the Town Tavern to get help from off-duty officers working there, Officer Abel retrieved his gun.

At South 20th and Sidney streets he encountered a 20-year-old pedestrian whose clothing did not match that of the two men who had approached the officer's car. Officer Abel hit the pedestrian in the head with the butt of his gun, witnesses told police, and the gun went off.

The man, whom police are not identifying, was taken to UPMC Presbyterian and was in stable condition.
Jerome L. Sherman can be reached at or 412-263-1183.
First published on July 1, 2008 at 12:00 am

Anonymous said...

what this officer did was appropriate... he was the one attacked he's the victim... did anyone ever look at his credentials? He maybe has a little off balance side but look at all the drugs and guns he got off the street... i give him alot of praise!!! good luck officer abel!

Mark Rauterkus said...

He was the victim of a punch in the face -- but from another guy. The officer attacked the wrong person.

They got away. Go figure. What kind of detective work was that?

Plus, victims don't choose to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking.

Another article ran in the Post-Gazette recently about him.

Anonymous said...

did anyone ever get this officers side? if he says thats the guy... shouldn't that be his word over the so called victims? yeah he was drunk but he was spending time with his wife on her birthday and someone attacked him!!!

Anonymous said...

Police officer Abel has a past yeah, but is anyone looking into the good things he has done in the community? What about his family do you have sympathy for his wife or his kids? Why dont you get the real facts before you judge them!!!

Mark Rauterkus said...

The great thing about this blogs -- and others -- is that you don't have to scold others with messages of 'get the facts.' Rather. Deliver them yourself. Just post them.

I fail to see the good he has done because you fail to post them. Please do so.

But, don't shoot the messenger. Rather, shoot the message.

Anonymous said...

officer abel is a discrace to the officers in this city that actually do the right thing. Im so glad this happened to him cause now all his skeletons are coming out of the closet just like the guy that him and his brother murdered in mt oliver i have heard him brag about it. he is a sick curropt individual. or what about the handycapguy he took under the birminham st bridge and almost beat to death. and the lies he has made about his step childrens grand parents. He is a punk and nw his badge is gone. and officer able if your reading this i cant wait to see you in the streets. his dad is just as crooked

Anonymous said...

leave my husband alone PLEASE... Give us peace!!!

Anonymous said...

this is not the place for threats... this is nothing but the past now leave this dude alone!

Anonymous said...

What cracks me up over this whole thing is why isnt he in jail???? is it because he was a crooked cop or what????? or is his daddy trying to cover up this one! I think he needs to come clean or someone needs to pull all his skeletons out of the closet. His actions were completly mis called for and he needs to be punished to the fullest extent of the law!!!!! and its about time for the local politicians to put their foot down. he is just as bad as all the people he arrested. he is just as wrong

Anonymous said...

YEAH okay.... he was wrong for this incident but he was doing his job as an off duty police officer at first... the mistake he made was that he was drunk and he had his finger on the trigger! Please go into details about his so called skeletons because as far as i know he has odd tactics about things but everyone in know knows him as a good respected police officer i can tell you whoever is posting these blogs is either a loser person he arrested or just plain jealous of abel and his lifestyle so please again please go into details about this guy or shut up and get over this vendetta that you have over him he has alot of people on his side praying for him and his family!!!

Anonymous said...

Ye we all are praying that he goes to jail!!!

Anonymous said...

i promise you... he will not go to jail!!! Abel doesn't have a record. this is just a blog who cares what you people think... but hey you all are entitled to your lame ass opinions!

Anonymous said...

isn't this getting old?