Judge Revokes Bail For Suspect In K-9 Officer’s Death
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Bail was revoked today for the man charged with killing a Pittsburgh Police dog.
As president judge, Judge Jeffery Manning was asked to look at John Rush’s million dollar bond.
He concluded that the judge who imposed that bond was guilty of what he called “magisterial grandstanding.”
Rush appeared for his bail hearing via video as he did during his arraignment. He began the hearing under a million dollar bail imposed by District Judge Jim Motznik of Brookline.
Judge Motznik explained to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he set bail that high in part because he considered Rocco the dog to be a police officer.
Rush is accused of stabbing the dog and attacking three police officers as they tried to apprehend him in Lawrenceville. The dog died last Thursday.
But beyond this case, Rush is charged in connection with a home invasion, taking an underage girl across state lines and several attempts to flee police.
That history caused Judge Manning to determine he was a risk to flee. He revoked his bail.
Defense attorney Pat Thomassey is not connected with the case, but observed what happened in court Tuesday.
“Apparently, this young man has a history of running from the police. There was a warrant out for him and he had an altercation with the county sheriffs several months ago, had a fight with them, and then was on the run when this situation with the police dog occurred,” said Thomassey. “So, actually, I believe that the judge decided that he was a flight risk and a danger to the community. It really didn’t have much to do with this recent event with the police dog.”
Motznik, meantime, had no comment on his criticism from Judge Manning or about Manning’s announcement that Motznik would have nothing further to do with the case.
Rush’s next appearance in court is in about two weeks for his preliminary hearing.