Man Charged With Punching Pitcairn Police Officer In The Face

PITCAIRN, Pa. (KDKA) — A man is facing charges after he allegedly punched a Pitcairn police officer in the face.

Police were called to the 200 block of Center Avenue shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday for a report of a man being harassed by his landlord about money.

According to the criminal complaint, Luis Cruz-Nieves, 61, claimed he was owed approximately $50 for work he had allegedly done years ago. Police say they advised Cruz-Nieves to leave the man alone and go the magistrate’s office. Instead, they say Cruz-Nieves started yelling and causing a disturbance.

Police say they informed Cruz-Nieves that he was going to be cited for disorderly conduct. Cruz-Nieves allegedly responded by saying he did not care, and telling one officer to get out of his face.

A short time later, police say the officer decided to arrest Cruz-Nieves for misdemeanor disorderly conduct. According to the criminal complaint, the officer went to grab Cruz-Nieves’ wrist, but “he pulled away and raised his fists in a fighting stance.”

Police say the officer deployed his Taser and activated the light and laser on the devices. According to the criminal complaint, Cruz-Nieves “stated he had a heart condition/implant and that [the officer] could not use the weapon.”

Police say the officer holstered his Taser and deployed his collapsible baton, ordering Cruz-Nieves to get on the ground. Police say Cruz-Nieves continued to disobey. According to the criminal complaint, the officer struck Cruz-Nieves in his right leg as he attempted to gain control. That’s when Cruz-Nieves allegedly swung at the officer, punching him in the left side of his jaw.

According to the criminal complaint, the strike temporarily dazed the officer, and Cruz-Nieves pinned the officer against a wall. The officer pushed Cruz-Nieves away, and redrew his Taser. At that point, Cruz-Nieves stopped being aggressive and complied with police, who took him into custody.

According to the criminal complaint, the officer who was punched was taken to UPMC East in Monroeville to be evaluated for a laceration to his right thumb and jaw pain. He was cleared and discharged with an antibiotic for his thumb.

Cruz-Nieves is charged with felony aggravated assault, along with misdemeanor counts of simple assault, resisting arrest, harassment and disorderly conduct.

Join The Conversation On The KDKA Facebook Page
Stay Up To Date, Follow KDKA On Twitter


One Comment

  1. David Colton says:

    Aaah, the life of a Police officer! Nice use of the “medical card” by a POS. So, no good deed goes unpunished for the officer.
    I sure don’t miss THAT career. I retired 8 years ago, and all my brothers & sisters in blue constantly tell me..”you got out at the right time.” I feel sorry for those with 5 years or less to go (till retirement.) Those with 10 years or more to go..find another line of employment! Stay alive. And NO! I would not do it again. Wasn’t the job I started in 79.
    FYI-Forget the baton. (They don’t work.) I’d have tasered him-period. (years of experience, broken teeth, jaw, eye socket talking here.) Every tool that was legal to use back then, the Liberals took away from us. These new high-tech devices don’t work on someone jacked up on PCP or other drugs. Now, a good choroidal choke..has never failed me. Either in the military, OR in law enforcement-back in the day.
    Stay safe-lot’s of crazies out there.

Comments are closed.

More From CBS Pittsburgh

Play It
Get The All New CBS Local App

Listen Live