Braddock Mayor Arrested On Trespassing Charge

By Ralph Iannotti

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Braddock Mayor John Fetterman faces a misdemeanor charge of defiant trespassing after he was arrested by Pittsburgh Police Monday for refusing to leave the property of the USX Tower on Grant Street.

The skyscraper houses the corporate offices of UPMC. Fetterman has been a long-time critic of UPMC for its decision to close Braddock Hospital. He said he wants UPMC to open up an urgent care facility in Braddock like ones now open in Shadyside and Robinson.

“I didn’t expect to get arrested today,” he said.

He said he did it because he did not receive a reply from UPMC officials attempting to set up a meeting.

Fetterman said he’d like to set up a meeting with UPMC to discuss the needs of people in Braddock and nearby Rankin – people who relied on the now-closed hospital to provide emergency and other medical services.

A clinic across the street from Braddock Hospital was supposed to provide longer hours and expanded services, but Fetterman said so far, it hasn’t been working out.

UPMC closed the hospital earlier this year because it had lost more than $25 million from 2004 to 2009 and the facility had experienced a dramatic decline in admission during that same time.

Meantime, Save Our Community Hospitals, a group in Braddock that opposed the hospital’s closing, thanked the mayor for his concern, but said he was “too late.”

However, in a statement, the group is pushing for UPMC to offer some help.

“SOCH calls on UPMC to, at least, provide free emergency ambulance service for the uninsured who live within the UPMC Braddock catchment area, just as it does for those who have an emergency in the Beacon Hospital catchment area in Ireland.”

  • bill

    Why even put this idiot in the news. Ah, Mr. Mayor, why don’t you eliminate the crime in your community, you know where people are being stabbed, shot, robbed, and beaten; then you would not need the hospital. You are a piece of work, sir.

    • Vicki68

      Bill, you must really be a terribly sad guy filled with hate. Hope love and light enters your life.

      Mayor John – 50
      Bill – 0

      I guess the people have spoken.

    • Betsy

      Why don’t YOU try to clean up a place like Braddock on your own and see how far YOU get!
      There is far less crime in Braddock than you think, sir. In fact, over the past few years, Mayor John has created new gardens, revitalized the library, created new living space (both Section 8 and normal rental property), brought positive events to the area, and is now fighting for those people’s (mostly elderly, fyi) HEALTHCARE!!!!!!

      I believe YOU are the idiot.

    • Charles

      They never mention how Section 8 housing and Welfare has destroyed a lot of small towns in Pittsburgh. Democrats are getting what they deserve.

      • Jame B.G.

        Where are people to live that need a little help for housing? How about they set-up a tent city in your neighborhood?!!

      • Russell

        Yeah Charles, lets just start systematically exterminating the poor so they stop destroying our towns! Damn libs!

    • Phill

      ha you guys are idiots this guy is a great leader in a community that though he tries remains stagnant . The town he is mayor of has more history than any town the the area. Do they mention there has not been a violent crime there in almost three years ??? Mayor John cares he is a well educated man a man with a big frame with even a bigger heart i wish those of you that don’t have a clue would talk to John for 5 minutes and they would feel like that met a man of conviction that leaves ya saying Wow . When Braddock rises from the ashes Mayor John will get all the accolades and credit he deserves . God Bless Braddock

      • Betsy

        THANK YOU, PHILL!!!! I grew up in Braddock, and yes, people there need HELP! This man is FIGHTING for that neighborhood! Those above who talk about crime and section 8 and welfare know NOTHING about that town, nor others like it! Braddock is a very tight-knit community, they really are working hard to restore what was once a bustling atmosphere.
        Of course the rich don’t live there… but does that mean whoever DOES isn’t worth the work needed to save their homes, their families, their LIVES? How many of the people in Braddock are now elderly and needing medical attention, and yet have nowhere to get it after 5pm? TOO MANY! I’ll bet none of those racist and classist jerks up there would wish a medical emergency with no nearby hospital on their own grandparents.
        These people have NO clue what is being done in Braddock! The progress is rapidly expanding, bringing in new young vibrant GOOD people to the area, and slowly weeding out the bad.

      • HEATHER

        i AGREE!

      • Pat

        Check the math Phil. Braddock is not a stranger to violent crime. Since Jan 2007 they have had 2 murders, 11 people shot, 3 people stabbed, and an assault of a police officer. Last I checked those are actually considered violent crimes. That does not even factor in the scores of street level robberies or crimes that go unreported. Bottom lline: Braddock would still have a hospital if people actually paied their bills and quit using the hospital as a PCP office. It is for EMERGENCY TREATMENT not the common cold.

    • ken

      So much hate and ignorance,

  • Gary

    This guy is great! It is so refreshing to see a politician that is truely looking out for his community! I wish that there was more like him.

  • Braddock Resident

    @ bill – what a jerk!

    Mayor John is awesome! We are 2.5 years without a murder! Can you say the same about where you live?

  • MonvalleyGirl

    Hey, Bill – what about the elderly and poor? They don’t deserve access to health-care, too?

    Your attack is obviously personal and not wanted on this site. There are sincere people interested in talking about the news.

  • Kathleen

    The mayor of Braddock a Harvard graduate is a breath of fresh air. I wish all politicians had the gumption to stand up to UPMC.
    Mayor Ravenstahl parties with his $200,00. a year security detail, someone should
    put him in cuffs for wasting tax -dollars.

  • poop

    Bill has a point. Dare anyone of you to walk down Braddock Ave at night.
    It is great to see a politician fight for something.

    Monvalleygirl your are an idiot.
    Maybe I missed the part where they said the poor and elderly can’t have access to health care. Wait no that’s the argument people use when they don’t have an argument. Got anymore false claims to make.

    • Betsy

      I’m from Braddock, and don’t live too far away, even though we left the area.

      As a middle class white girl, I’d be PROUD to walk down Braddock Avenue at midnight….

      I’m PROUD to have Mayor John in charge down there. He’s doing FANTASTIC things for that neighborhood, and dammit, they NEED someone to fight FOR them rather than AGAINST them!

    • heather

      Bill probably lives in a cushiony home and has a great family. I wouldnt blame him for not wanting to go in Braddock, they LIKE to rob people like One person cant fight the crime of the whole neighborhood, but a whole neighborhood can. I think the people he is representing should make more of an effort to support this man who stand up to big politicians and greedy lawmakers. And i guess you did miss the part where upmc disbanded its efforts with Braddock to complete a uniform idea to reestablish healthcare for their elderly, dummy and obviously half these people do not have healthcare.. gee those people must not have good jobs, hmm I am no genius but I beleive that would have something to do with poverty. GO MONVALGIRL!

  • Charles

    I bet this guy belongs to a Union. Braddock is a dying town thanks to years of Democratic rule in Allegheny County. Unions did a great job of destroying the Steel Industry and drove most factories to Non Union states.. RIP Braddock, you voted a straight Democratic ticket and now are paying for it.

    • Lucille

      Is Charles to young to know that the Steelworker’s Union made Braddock the thriving community it once was in the early 1900’s? Charles needs to be educated. He should read ‘Out of this Furnace’ by Thomas Bell. Braddock is so fortunate to have such a highly educated and motivated young Mayor. Mr. Fetterman is a true HERO!

      • Tabatha

        That is a fabulous book! It really shows what Braddock was! Also, if you want to see true history please please head to the library in Braddock, I think the man has heart and gumption. I also think he is down to last resorts. Why not camp out in the lobby of the largest job provider in Western Pa ( next to the Govt) and see if you can ruffle a few feathers and get some publicity.
        As far as blaming unions and party lines how about we just blame corruption. Party policy, and union ideals work on paper. They fail when the corrupt leaders get involved. It is easy to point out this flaw, if only I could name a solution!

    • Other Bill

      And voting straight republican has worked so well for all the comparably poverty-stricken towns that litter the landscape of this country’s heartland. I’m glad to see that you’re out there with us helping turn Braddock around. Oh wait! You’re sitting idly by, commenting ignorantly on the internet. Sad.

  • Gary

    This guy is really trying to make a difference. I hope that he continues to be passionate about serving the people in his community.

  • Bill Miller

    Its good that a mayor is taken care of his town.I dont live their but I have a freind that does and the mayor has helped that town I live in Delawre but sometimes visit

  • Victoria

    What a great leader! If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for everything. Awesome.

  • MJL

    Having a hospital there, why? when they get hurt, do you think the hospital is to give free care? Come on that is the reason there is no hospital, keep it closed then mayb e they will stop killing one another.

    • Tabatha

      UPMC is a Business. I get it. However, if you want to help revitalize a community and also use a building that is already equipt for medical procedure Braddock could be your ticket. Here is the deal, they own the land. Make it into a specialized facility for xy or z. Then it could run a small ER but profit off the funds. Corporate stewardship!

  • bruce USA

    Where were Mayor Fetterman’s overtime bodyguards?? Hey Luke, lend him one of your over payed cronies!! Where’s the mayors union at a time like this. Maybe we could kiosk in some good will for this section #8 burdened soul. Hang in there sir. The MAN see’s your comunity’s grief. I personally asked him to take a closer look!!

  • selena

    tell me where there is no crime & I’ll move there. the mayor of Braddock got heart. those who want to blame it on politics are wrong, it’s the greed of the corporate leaders. UPMC leaders. just like the closing of the er at west penn. greedy corporate leaders.

  • redrock100

    Braddock is dead. move on

  • Andrew J. Evans

    I suggest the local and State Gov’t get together on this one. Shut down the Mill…. demolish some more buildings, put the Mon Valley Express Way through, redevelop Braddock into a fun Middle Class Town again! Also, build townhouses ON the river not another Jail!!!

  • poop

    @ Andrew J. Evans

    Yeah really you can out a jail anywhere.
    The not really ever going to happen been in the planning for 30 years Mon Valley expressway would help that town alot more then a hospital

  • j

    …the fact is Braddock is more a ghost town than a crime filled community. It’s probably safer their than most neighborhoods in the same area (Rankin, Swissvale, Wilkinsburg, Mckeesport) Their hasn’t been a murder in the town in almost 3 years. Braddock is not dead. It’s just paralyzed and if the people who live there want to improve it and make it a better place than I think the state as well as surrounding communities have an obligation to lend a hand and turn things around. I think a lot of people have forgot how close the town of Homestead was to becoming what Braddock is today after the mills closed. All it took was people with some money and balls to develop the waterfront and now just over ten years later the community and economy has flourished and crime is down considerably…….

  • j


    • Brent

      I like your comment, but please learn the difference between “there, they’re and their”

  • poop

    Hey J remember one thing.
    No murders just mean that no one that has been shot died

  • Kat

    If all people fought for what they believe in, there would be more positive news to report. I give John Fetterman a lot of credit, and my utmost respect. It is rare to see a politician stand up to the big names and push. Usually they back down and maintain a status quo. I have never lived on Braddock, but I have worked in that community, and I can say, it is getting cleaned up…slowly…but there is a definite change in the atmosphere there. I would back this man up 100% if he were working in my best interest. Go, Big Guy! Happy to see he didn’t need bodyguards to back him up, either!

  • J. Broker

    UPMC is an $8 billion integrated global health enterprise headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and one of the leading nonprofit health systems in the United States.

    NON-PROFIT ? UPMC lost $25 Million over a 5 year period. Maybe they needed to lose more?

    The Mayor knows the facts. UPMC abandons a community and answers it’s reasoning by arresting the Mayor for trespassing.

    Now that’s some “CONCIERGE” service!

  • h

    Even if the UPMC closing was financially warranted, there are much more political ways to address it. Demolishing the place while building a new one in Monroeville is plain ugly. What Fetterman is looking for is pittance, and he and his community are entitled to that at least.

    • FixPgh

      Yeah h the way the neighborhoods are (so close, scrunched, busy, traffic-ridden) you pretty much need a facility in every neighborhood. If they are going to have 25 little “neighborhoods” in a 3 mile radius, every one of them needs access to something that doesn’t require getting on the parkway, going over a bridge, and/or through a dang tunnel.

  • DS99

    Wow!!! Someone explain to me why UPMC should continue to lose money to provide FREE healthcare!!! And why they should have to explain a smart business decision!!! They left for the same reason all the other business left that area…..NO PAYING CUSTOMERS!!!!

    • Vicki68

      Ummm … Maybe because they are a non-profit whose sole purpose is to provide Health Care? !!!!

  • reality check

    Maybe if Braddock Hospital treated their patients with care, than maybe the would’nt have list out on 25 million in four years. tell people they have an ovarian cyst and send them home with assprin just for the patient to be back in another hospital the same night. come on now!!! What did you think was going to happen. My grandmother would rather stay at home in excrucitaing pain before going to Braddock Hospital when it was open. It was bound to happen one day. I bet you the mayor has never even been a patient at Braddock Hospital!!!

  • reality check

    He puts a lot of effort trying to close establishments that have nothing to do with street problems but tries to keep open a hospital that cared less about peoples health which contradicts their purpose. Mayor needs to stop, take a few days, and really observe himself.

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