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Irwin Police Chief Assaulted

Irwin Officer Attacked

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IRWIN BOROUGH, Pa. (KDKA) – A police chief in Irwin had to go to the hospital after being assaulted at the police station.

It all began in an alley when a man told police he wanted to file a complaint but when police tried to help the man, he was combative and tried to attack the chief.

26-year-old Randy Piper was charged this afternoon with aggravated assault of a police officer.

Around 8:30 Wednesday morning, he told Irwin police Chief Joe Pocsatko that he wanted to file a complaint. He refused to give his name and continued to harass the chief.

“He approached me again, pulled something out of his left pocket. I didn’t know what it was. I pushed him back and it ended up being a cell phone. He ended up dropping it,” Chief Pocsatko says.

The chief took Piper inside of the police station where he picked up a phone to call 9-1-1.

When the Chief told Piper to put the phone down, he used it to hit the chief in the face.

“I physically had to defend myself from the assault—pushing him against the doors. He grabbed my neck tie and my shirt to try and choke me with the neck tie. I had to use my own defensive strikes to subdue him and put him on the ground,” Chief Pocsatko says. 

The chief now has a broken bone in his hand and will have to take time off work.

“Part of this job is that you can’t be afraid of anyone. You have to have heart to do this job,” Pocsatko says.

Randy Piper is in jail on $10,000 straight cash bond.

Piper’s girlfriend contacted KDKA this afternoon and wanting to tell his side of the story.

“My son was almost hit by a police car. My boyfriend Randy went to go file charges with the Irwin police department about my son being hit,” says Victoria Barkefelt.

Piper has a history of violence toward police. In July 2010, he was arrested for assaulting an officer in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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