Incident Turns Violent At Firefighters Parade In Monessen
MONESSEN (KDKA) — It was supposed to be a weekend of family fun, but it ended with a grandfather arrested after he says his grandkids were assaulted by a man in a dog costume.
This happened Saturday during the Western PA Firemen’s Association parade in Monessen.
The John family says two children were injured, but the man in the mascot suit gave Monessen police a different story.
The parade is highly anticipated summer event each year in the Westmorland County town and Dana John says she never misses it.
She says her four children were excited and went to give a Dalmatian mascot a hug. He was riding on a fire truck.
The costumed character was part of the Franklin Township Frisco Volunteer Fire Department.
What happened next got the kids’ grandfather arrested for harassment and disorderly conduct, even though the John claim the mascot assaulted two of the kids.
“We gave the guy a hug and he just went all loose and hurt my brother and punched me in my nose,” Savanah John said.
“His paw came up, whacked my daughter in the nose,” Dana John, Savannah’s mother, said. “Guy got back in the fire truck, my daughter’s like, ‘My nose is bleeding! My nose is bleeding!’
“That’s when my dad took charge and did what he did as a grandparent.”
Robert John was watching the parade from his wheelchair on the side of the street.
“What I wanted to do is talk to the guy, but by the time I got up on the truck, he turned around and kicked me right off the truck,” Robert John, the grandfather said. “And I said, ‘Sir, you had no right to hit my kid like that.’”
After he was cited, he was taken to the hospital for diabetes and heart-related problems.
Since the incident, the Johns have been trying convince authorities to drop the charges against him.