SPRINGDALE (KDKA) — It all started on a snowy night in 2010 on a side street in Springdale. Allegheny County Police Officer Ray Hrabos was two blocks from his house.
Hrabos stepped into the street to ask what turned out to be off-duty Springdale cops and a councilmember if they could move a car blocking the street. The officers accused Hrabos of getting mouthy.
That’s where he says it turned ugly.
“Exits the truck, runs up behind the truck, pulls his weapon out on me from behind the truck,” Hrabos recalled. “And then I just froze. I said, ‘Hey, what are you doing? I’m a police officer.’”
Hrabos says the officer got physical.
Hrabos: “There was a snow embankment right behind me. When he walked up, he just hit me right in the throat, pushed me over the embankment …”
Marty Griffin: “So right here he hits you in the throat? You’re right here …”
Griffin: “And you go back over a snow embankment?”
Hrabos: “Right over the embankment …”
Lying in the snow with his revolver in his waistband exposed, Hrabos thought he could be shot and killed.
Griffin: “As you stand here today where this happened, do you believe that somebody could have been killed that night?”
Hrabos: “Oh, absolutely.”
Two weeks later, Springdale police, who would not comment on the lawsuit, filed terroristic threat, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct charges against Hrabos.
All of the charges were dismissed. At one point, the judge screamed in court, “This is insane to come down here with this case.”
“If what happened to him can happen then who amongst us is safe from police misconduct?” Hrabos’ attorney, Tim O’Brien, said.
Sources tell Marty Griffin this goes well beyond the filing of a federal lawsuit Wednesday. The FBI is now involved with the intention of conducting a complete investigation into allegations of possible corruption within the Springdale Police Department.