PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh’s Public Safety director has upheld the firing of a police officer accused of roughing up a young man outside Heinz Field last fall.

Last week, Sgt. Stephen Matakovich was placed on unpaid leave when charges in the case were re-filed. He’s now been fired.

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Today, Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich upheld Chief Cameron McLay’s decision to fire Matakovich.

Police say Sgt. Matakovich was working a uniformed, off-duty secondary employment detail at a WPIAL football championship game at Heinz Field on Nov. 28, when he arrested a man for a number of charges, including public drunkenness and aggravated assault.

According to police, surveillance video of the arrest led to a criminal investigation, which led to Matakovich being charged with simple assault and official oppression.

The video shows the officer pushing and punching Gabriel Despree, 19, before putting him in handcuffs.

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It’s that video that Matakovich says will now define his career in the eyes of the public. He tells KDKA’s Marty Griffin that he now plans to file for what’s called expedited arbitration. He says he expects to be off the streets for a few months without pay by is convinced he will be back to work.

Initial charges against Matakovich were dropped, but it was not long before they were refiled.

Last Friday, the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office re-filed charges and added perjury to the list of counts the sergeant is facing.

In a statement, Matakovich says: “Now that the charges are refiled and I’m terminated; hopefully, the city can move on for a while. I need a break. My family needs a break. I think we all need a break from this.”

The FBI continues to look into the case.

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