Firefighter: 'I Defended My Wife And My Family'

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Pittsburgh firefighter is facing charges after allegedly strangling his nephew during an argument.

According to police, the incident happened at a home along Howley Street last weekend, on Saturday, May 26.

On Wednesday, firefighter Michael Skruch wasn’t on duty at Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire Engine/Truck Company 8 in East Liberty. The 46-year-old Skruch has been a Pittsburgh firefighter for nearly 13 years. KDKA’s Paul Martino found him at his home in Lincoln Place. He talked to us through his screen door.

Martino: “Can we talk to you?”

Skruch: “You gotta be kidding me, man.”

michael skruch Police: Pittsburgh Firefighter Arrested, Charged For Strangling Nephew

(Source: Allegheny County)

Skruch is accused of going to the Howley Street home in Lawrenceville and assaulting his nephew, Noah Lewkowicz.

Officers were initially called to the home for a report of a domestic dispute. When they arrived, they met with Skruch and Lewkowicz.

According to the criminal complaint, Lewkowicz said Skruch “grabbed his throat and caused him to nearly pass out.”

The altercation allegedly started when Lewkowicz called his aunt, Skruch’s wife, an expletive. Skruch then went to the home, where Lewkowicz was living with another uncle. When Skruch arrived, the other uncle let him in and he went upstairs to confront Lewkowicz.

Officers noticed scratches and redness on the Lewkowicz’s throat.

Martino: “Is it true? In the criminal complaint, it said…”

Skruch: “It is true I defended my wife and my family. Yeah, that’s true.”

No one at the firehouse wanted to comment.

City officials confirm that Skruch is indeed a Pittsburgh firefighter. But they can’t comment much further than that because the investigation is ongoing.

There’s no word if Skruch will be allowed to work at the fire station while the investigation continues.

He was arrested, charged with simple assault and strangulation, and taken to the Allegheny County Jail. He is now free on bond.