PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Ohio man who led police on a chase through Pittsburgh’s South Side and crashed his dump truck into the FBI gate is heading directly from jail into treatment.
Forty-nine-year-old Thomas Ross, of New Waterford, Ohio, asked the court to take pity on him, saying he was having a “psychotic” episode fueled by his heroin use when he rammed the FBI gate and said he had a bomb.
The court acknowledged just how serious what he did was and also that it is important for Ross to get help now.
Ross ran nine red lights on East Carson Street before crashing his dump truck into the FBI field office gate and claiming he had a bomb.
It happened on July 26, 2016.
A Pittsburgh police officer tried stopping Ross, but he did not listen. Authorities later discovered there were no explosives.
In February, Ross pleaded guilty to the federal charge of willfully injuring or committing depredation against federal property.
Prior to the guilty plea in his federal case, Ross also pleaded guilty and was sentenced in state court on charges of fleeing and eluding police and simple assault.
At his federal sentencing, he told the court it was a “cry for help” with drug addiction he had been battling for 20 years.
After 23 months in the Allegheny County Jail, Ross is clean and sober now.
The court told Ross it was the “wrong way to go about getting help” and recognized his need for treatment now.
Ross was sentenced to 18 months in prison of time he has already served and three years of supervised release.
During his supervised release, he must complete the Salvation Army’s intensive drug treatment program. He will also have to complete a mental health treatment program and pay $45,000 in restitution for the damage he caused.
Ross is being released directly into the in-patient treatment program. His federal defender told the court she would personally drive him there Monday.
Ross is also forbidden from going near the FBI field office without prior permission.