BUFFALO TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – A man running for office is facing charges after allegedly stealing an opponent’s campaign sign and leading police on a brief chase – while drunk.
Weathered from a couple of campaigns, Supervisor Gary Risch’s campaign sign was minding its own business Sunday morning when it was suddenly sign-napped.
“Stuff like this doesn’t happen in Buffalo Township,” says Risch.
Moments later, a Buffalo Township police officer watched a hatchback drive by with a guy sprawled across the hatch and the wooden legs of the sign sticking out.
A brief chase ended in 23-year-old Mike Oehling’s driveway. Oehling, who is also a candidate for supervisor, has posted a video message on his Facebook page.
In it, he says: “The Constitution was written to keep the government off the people’s backs. Why is the government all over ours? What happened to freedom?”
That was his theme as police say Oehling yelled at the officer that it was his constitutional right not to obey the officers commands. A struggle and handcuffs later, Oehling was in the back of a police car where he is accused of kicking the officer repeatedly.
“He shouldn’t have resisted the officer,” said John Have, a Buffalo Township supervisor. “He should have complied and quite possibly it wouldn’t have turned out the way it has.”
Haven who is the other incumbent in the supervisors’ race is stunned by the incident, but Risch not so much.
“Friday night he took the other signs I had up in the township, I had about 10 signs up, and I think it’s kind of childish,” said Risch.
The charges are anything but childish. Oehling is facing several, including DUI, theft, eluding police, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.
“If the kid needs help, I’d like to see him get some help,” said Risch.