MONROEVILLE, Pa. (KDKA) — A disabled veteran says that police are wrongly charging him with assault.
James Paul is a liver transplant recipient who says he is the victim and was defending himself.
He drove to the Miracle Mile Shopping Center to get a paper and a haircut on June 23, 2019.
At the time, he also drove for Uber and says a videocamera was rolling as he was attacked.
The fight happened in front of the Panera Bread in the plaza after Paul thought someone was flagging down his rideshare car.
“Reaches up and grabs me like he is going to throw me down and not only did I box, but I use to wrestle too,” said Paul. “It caught him right here, and I wanted to send him a message.”
Paul said the Monroeville police, in front of onlookers, made him out to be the attacker.
But Paul said he had dashcam video rolling in his Uber and was certain it would prove he was the one attacked.
He handed the camera over to the police on the scene.
“I went home and I plugged it into my computer, like I do every day, and the files have all been deleted,” Paul said.
Now more than eight months after the incident, Paul has been charged with simple assault.
Paul’s 19-year-old son gave his father half of his liver and works to support his father.
Monroeville Police responded to KDKA, saying they finally found an “eyewitness” who is not related to any of the parties.
The chief also said there was a delay in filing the charges because the officer got behind on his paperwork.
The chief said he is looking into this, but added it is “very unusual” that it took his officer months to file charges, and that things are supposed to get things out of the “hold” file within 5-10 days.
Police have up to two years to file charges on misdemeanors.
Paul is due to appear before a magistrate next month.