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.”


One Comment

  1. bill says:

    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.

    1. Charles says:

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

      1. Jame B.G. says:

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

      2. Russell says:

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

    2. Phill says:

      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

      1. HEATHER says:

        i AGREE!

      2. Betsy says:

        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.

      3. Pat says:

        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.

    3. ken says:

      So much hate and ignorance,

    4. Betsy says:

      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.

    5. Vicki68 says:

      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.

  2. Gary says:

    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.

  3. Braddock Resident says:

    @ 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?

  4. MonvalleyGirl says:

    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.

  5. Kathleen says:

    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.

  6. poop says:

    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.

    1. heather says:

      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!

    2. Betsy says:

      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!

  7. Charles says:

    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.

    1. Lucille says:

      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!

      1. Tabatha says:

        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!

    2. Other Bill says:

      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.

  8. Gary says:

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

  9. Bill Miller says:

    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

  10. Victoria says:

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

  11. MJL says:

    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.

    1. Tabatha says:

      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!

  12. bruce USA says:

    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!!

  13. selena says:

    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.

  14. redrock100 says:

    Braddock is dead. move on

  15. Andrew J. Evans says:

    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!!!

  16. poop says:

    @ 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

  17. j says:

    …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…….

  18. j says:


    1. Brent says:

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

  19. poop says:

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

  20. Kat says:

    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!

  21. J. Broker says:

    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!

  22. h says:

    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.

    1. FixPgh says:

      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.

  23. DS99 says:

    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!!!!

    1. Vicki68 says:

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

  24. reality check says:

    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!!!

  25. reality check says:

    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.

  26. Kent says:

    Hey, I see this site every day. Murder in Westmoreland County, Abduction in Butler county, Shooting in Swissvale… I cannot remember the last time I heard such a thing about Braddock. I hear about Pittsburgh Police beating a defenseless teenager senseless and then trying to cover it up, but I don’t hear anything credible bad about Braddock. I hear myths, I hear stereotypical rants by racist fools, but I hear no proof that Braddock is not a better section of the city than most.

    1. FixPGH says:

      Kent you are right, I live right on the edge of Forest Hills/Braddock and I always hear about Wilkinsburg and Swissvale having shootings and lurings but nothing seems to happen in Braddock. I use to drive through it to get to work and I rarely ever saw anyone. Maybe it went through a time of a lot of violence, but not now. Whenever I drive thru there I just see people coming together to hang out and chat – like a community. You don’t get that type of closeness in Northside, Southside, Oakland – no where.

      The people talking trash on Braddock ARE just racist idiots and because it, I believe, has a larger African-American population they assume it has violence. There is more violence/vandalism in Southside on a Friday night than Braddock has in a year!

      1. Betsy says:

        We probably know each other… I’m on the same border, lol, and grew up in Braddock.
        I LVOE Braddock, and I’m so damn happy to see someone like Mayor John take an interest!!!! They needed someone to stand up and fight, to rally the folks, to breathe new life into the town! He’s doing such great things, and is really a very nice man! 🙂

  27. Kent says:

    I have a two word solution. Single Payer. You know, the health plan that real countries have.

    1. Frank says:

      Thank you, at least someone said it. For profit health care has ruined many lives and communities in the “richest country in the world” only to line the pockets of those who profit on people’s sickness.

      Good for Mayor Fetterman to stand up against those “non-profit” corporate crooks.

  28. jonathan says:

    Kent your party distroyed bradock

  29. Your Friendly Neighbor says:

    No disrespect to the Braddock community but this sounds like just another political figure that has made a mistake and is trying to fix it too late. Maybe the mayor should be more concerned with keeping local businesses and companies in his town, than doing Levi’s commercials. Braddock’s own community group stated that the mayors help was “too late.” Wake up people, this is just another political figure trying to look good after they have made a mistake…sound familiar City of Pgh?

    1. Not SOCH says:

      This “community” group is made up of mostly non-Braddock residents. I’m a Pitt student that attended a few of their protests until I realized how we were all simply being used by Tony Buba for his next film and by the attorney representing them, who is charged with emblezzelment.

      I’ll stand with the mayor on this one.

  30. Bill Miller says:

    every place you go weather its Braddock Pittsburgh or Philly your going to have crime.Its never to late to clean a place up.Iam planning to move to the Pittsburgh area and almost every area has crime.Ilive outside of Philly and trust you guys are atleast doing something Philly has atleast 6 murders a night

  31. betty smith says:

    God bless you Mayor of Braddock. We all need more people like you..

  32. p says:

    i see him on tv all the time!!! they are closing hospitals left and right, upmc and west penn. i had to visit the ER and went to AGH. big mistake. i was their 10 hours! they were violating the hippa codes, by evaluating patients in the halls. so yea, they may loose money, but these hospitals are getting so overcrowded that people are going to start dieing because they are understaffed. when they close a hospital, they don’t add more people to another shift at another hospital. when these people start dieing and they get slapped with law suits, they will loose even more money.

    good for this guy, and he was fighting before they closed down the hospital. just like bellevue did with suburban, but in the end, the hospitals do what they want.

    o and i don’t care that braddock hasn’t had a murder in however many years. their is still a ton of violent crime, drugs, you name it. i did my ride alongs out there before i become a cop. two weeks on my shifts i believe we had around 6 shootings, multiple houses and cars broken into, over 30 drug arrests and od’s, even had a few bad assaults. i am surprised the one guy even made it. one thing i can say is, the mayor is very active and seems like he knows what he is doing(only talked to him one time and don’t live near there). looks like a biker but is very smart.

  33. Pittlady says:

    About time we see someone from Braddock arrested for something NOBLE! Much better than Council President Jesse Brown’s girlfriend – ella jones arrested for stealing from the poor broke city.

  34. Jparker says:

    First off lets set aside the UPMC issue. This Mayor is an idioit. Why are you people raving about not having a murder in 3 years here? Thats something to be proud of? Ok so you haven’t had a murder, what about the numerous drug deals that are going down on pratically every corner of that neighborhood. How about never having a murder. In the 20 years I have lived in Allison Park I have yet to hear of a murder. Your community is rampent with drugs and crime. Your officials are stealing. Help yourselves FIRST before you ask for help from others. Show that you deserve help. I ride through your community everyday going to work and all I see are thugs, trash on the grounds. If YOU show pride in your community then it will REFLECT in your community.

    1. Meg says:

      Tell him that to his face. Coward. 🙂

    2. Vicki68 says:

      3 years without a murder is a huge accomplishment, especially in a city that has seen double-digit murders in the past.

      What the mayor is doing is fighting for his community and you are sitting here, anonymously criticizing him.

      I bet the mayor can at least spell idiot, idiot!

    3. Betsy says:

      Seems to me like the people you WANT to see on the streets ARE AT WORK!!!!!!

      Yes, there’s thugs and even drugs. But I gurantee you there’s junkies in Allison Park too.

      Get over yourself….. you can afford to live somewhere like that. People in Braddock aren’t nearly as fortunate. But that doesn’t mean they are bad people, or that they are crime-driven junkies. There are GREAT people in that town. GREAT, CARING people who need someone to help them take a stand to improve their community.

      And you blame them for that?
      Don’t judge an entire community because of a few horror stories you’ve heard or a handful of “thugs” you’ve seen on the street.

      And by the way, those thugs may not be thugs at all. Ever try speaking to any of them? Didn’t think so. Many are very intelligent, creative people, but being the stereotypical well-to-do jerk that you seem to be, you’d rather just judge everyone based on their income and clothing. Way to be a stand up person.

      I’d rather run into thugs in Braddock than classist, racist jerks like you anyday.

  35. Brad says:

    After reading these rants i can tell none of you actually live in Braddock. All i hear is generalization and racial stereotypes. Being a white man, and living in braddock i have no fear of walking down the street, because it’s my community. John Deserves respect for what he’s trying to do, while all of those basing him from behind a computer screen need to ask yourself what you’ve done for your community?

  36. jood says:

    I agree with Betty. God bless you & your good work. It is so refreshing to see a politician doing something for his town instead of himself.

  37. p says:

    i guess my post went unheard. you DO have violent crimes in your neighborhood. i had to do 5, two week internships with different police departments(well didn’t HAVE to, but it really helps your chances of getting hired to a good department). i was in braddock, the rocks, bellevue, ross township and, zone 1 of the city. now obviously we got OD and junky calls in every department, even burglaries and domestics. in ross township i don’t remember going to a violent crime and the robberies were mostly done by people from out of township(like the city). the rocks, surprisingly, wasn’t that bad, other then the violent crimes in “the bottoms”. if it wasn’t for that part of the community, they would only have random domestics and such. bellevue, was surprisingly bad and i will say, the cops i worked with didn’t seem to care. we had stabbings and shootings, banks getting robbed left and right. a park that drugs were dealt all day and all night. over 300 car and house burglaries in 2 weeks is not good. zone 1 had a lot of crime. brighton heights was the “most tame” followed by woods run and even those communities were not cake. zone 1 had the most violent crime i had to deal with. mostly because of manchester and such.

    now braddock. i would put braddock right behind zone 1. i would have to look at my files but we had multiple shootings in a two week period! just because the person(s) doesn’t die, doesn’t make it much better. they were still victims of ATTEMPTED MURDER. almost as many drug DEALERS not users, as zone 1 and bellevue. the so called “artistic thugs” are just normal street thugs to me. just because you can rap a song or draw me a picture, doesn’t take the fact back that you are out there doing no good. we had one get get jumped so bad the first night i was on shift, he was in the icu, the two weeks i was there!

    either way, i think that community could be taken back. but not by accepting the drug dealing thugs as “artists”. you got to realize they are out on the streets all day to make money. drug dealer first, artist second if at all. they need to do more drug and weapon sweeps and the community needs to realize that these kids are doing the majority of the crimes, and to report what you see and not let them on your corner.

    the mayor is taking the right steps and seems very smart from the one conversation we had. and just because the hospital looses money in one location doesn’t mean they should close down. all these closed hospitals have lead to over crowding. a 10 hour weight with a broken arm in the waiting room is not right. people getting there hippa rights violated, by being seen in the hallway is not right. people dieing because they are too crowded is not right. this will all lead to multiple law suits and they will hopefully loose more money then if they kept these hospitals open. and what happens when this “Free” health care starts? look at canada and how overcrowded their hospitals are, we have people coming from canada to get treated because they don’t want to wait 20 hours in a waiting room. just a big mistake on both upmc and west penn’s part. its going to suck when your loved one is dieing and they have to wait hours to be seen because of all the people of the communities that had there hospitals closed, had to flock to other hospitals.

    braddock could be a real nice town and loosing the hospital is not good for attracting new people.

  38. Steve says:

    Why isn’t any responsibility put on Penn Dot? Braddock Hospital’s emergency room visits dwindled to just about zero when Penn Dot in their infinite wisdom decided to cripple 2 major arteries into Braddock. The Tri – Boro has been completely closed for 2 years now, and the Rankin Bridge has been single lane gridlock for a year and a half. What Ambulance service is going to risk trying to even get to that hospital? Obviously, none of them.

  39. bobelectric says:

    Do you think Little Luke woulld have a problem getting a pow wow with U.P.M.C.? Last of the leaders that care.

  40. Amie says:

    UPMC cares about one thing…money.
    They don’t care about their workers who are subjected to sexual discrimination and ageism on a daily basis, or patients who suffer from medical mistakes due to overworked, underpaid staff who are ALWAYS short-handed.
    All UPMC wants to do is slap their name on whatever building they can, make commercials and rake in the dough. Forget a UPMC hospital I’d rather go to a vetrinarian at least they actually CARE.

  41. Fred Fedor says:

    Braddock will never amount to anything until the leaders in charge get out of their mentality that we need them. They ruined Braddock with their dirty politics by making the payers move, and keeping the parasites that were sucking federal government money to live in modern slums. Drive down braddock ave. to 11th street and park your car. In a couple of minutes you’ll get a parking ticket and there’s not a store in site. As long as the democrats god lines the street(parking meters), don’t look for anything to change…….

  42. Mabel says:

    Hey Charles, i got news for you. I was not section 8, & welfare that killed small towns like Braddock. I was the collaspe of the steel mills. I’ll agree with ya’ll on one thing. The Democratic Party is not the answer for solving our towns problems, but neither is the Republicans Party. But serioulsy get you facts straight before you blame poor people and unions.

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