Sheriff’s deputies foil escape attempt from Renewal Center

By Steve Pope | September 24, 2018

Two deputies with the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office had their lunch break interrupted Monday when they spotted two men attempting to escape from a community corrections facility.

The two men, Chad St. Clair, 36, of Smithfield and Matthew Comer, 36, of Pittsburgh, were observed by the two deputies, who were on their lunch break at the Municipal Courts Building, climbing down a back stairwell at the Renewal Center, located just across from the building’s parking lot.

Realizing the two men were attempting to escape, Deputy Jon Monaco and Sgt Tom Ninehouser approached the two men and demanded to know what they were doing.  St. Clair said he wanted to “go back to jail” and surrendered, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.

Comer attempted to flee from the parking lot toward Second Avenue, but was quickly caught and after a brief struggle was arrested by Deputy Monaco.

Both men were serving a portion of their probation at the Renewal Center.  St. Clair had pled guilty to a robbery charge earlier this year, while Comer had pled guilty to a federal firearms violation.

The pair was taken to the Allegheny County Jail and will face additional charges for their unsuccessful escape attempt.

Deputy Monaco was taken to a medical facility, as he was injured during the scuffle.  He has since been treated and released.

Steve Pope can be contacted at

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