PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The man whose arrest at PNC Park last weekend was recorded and posted to YouTube appeared in court this morning for a preliminary hearing.
Scott Ashley entered city court facing a hearing on charges stemming from Saturday night’s encounter with Pittsburgh Police at a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game.
“He was excited to go to the Pirate game with his girlfriend,” said Fred Rabner, Ashley’s attorney. “He ordered the tickets in advance.”
Rabner says his client is well aware of his notoriety in the wake of the YouTube video showing officers trying to Tase him, then using batons to get Ashley to comply with commands to turn around.
“For him being asked, to be removed was a big deal,” said Rabner. “His original involvement with security was innocent, he just wanted to watch the baseball game.”
However, sources tell KDKA’s Ross Guidotti that everything changed when Ashley, as the video apparently shows, pushed a PNC Park employee, and according to police, threatened the employee’s life.
“He lost his bearing for a minute and reacted to that person out of instinct. He recognizes that he shouldn’t have done that,” Rabner added.
The incident has sparked both condemnation and support for the two officers involved in Ashley’s arrest.
Officer Jeffery Labella and Detective Frank Rende used both a Taser and batons before Ashley complied and was cuffed. Some called the methods excessive. Rende declined comment, but the attorney for the Fraternal Order of Police say the officers did as trained.
“If you confront a police officer, and you clench your fist or you are defiant or you tell them you aren’t going to do what the officer’s ordering you to do, the officer can go up a level as far as the force that’s used,” said Bryan Campbell, of the FOP.
KDKA has learned an additional count of making terroristic threats will be added to the charges of resisting arrest, public drunkenness, harassment and disorderly conduct.
Ashley’s preliminary hearing was continued until May 25 at 8 a.m.