Police: Woman called 911 close to 80 times in three months

By Steve Pope | August 12, 2018

A McKees Rocks woman is alleged in a criminal complaint to having called 911 operators close to 80 times since April 27, claiming someone is stealing her mail, she is being followed, someone is putting drugs in her apartment and numerous other complaints.

In a criminal complaint  filed on August 3, police charged Corinna Scheffer, 39, with disorderly conduct and misusing the 911 system. This is the third time since July 23, police have charged her with making unwarranted calls to 911.

Police allege in the complaint that Scheffer has called 911 78 times, including 36 times in July since she moved to McKees Rocks in late April.

August 3rd police affidavit.

Scheffer called 911 twice in April; 12 times in May; 21 times in June and seven times as of Aug. 3.

A police officer wrote in the Aug. 3 complaint that Scheffer has been “advised on numerous occasions about her misuse of the 911 system.”

The reasons that Scheffer has called 911 include, “theft calls, people putting drugs in her apartment, someone having access to her phone, to her apartment being haunted,” the complaint alleges.

A preliminary hearing on three of the cases is scheduled for September 11.

Steve Pope can be contacted at steve.pope@grantstreetnews.com











Two overnight shootings leave one woman dead and a man hospitalized

By Steve Pope | August 12, 2018

Pittsburgh homicide detectives are investigating two overnight shootings that occured in the Lincoln-Lemington and Homewood sections, that claimed a woman’s life and left a man hospitalized in critical condition.

At approximately 5:33 a.m. on Sunday, police responded to the 1500 block of Lincoln Avenue for a shooting. Upon arrival, officers observed a deceased female inside a parked silver SUV. The body of the unidentified woman was transported to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s office.

Her identity or exact cause of death have not been released and detectives continue to investigate the shooting.

A 2 a.m. shooting at the intersection of Brushton Avenue and Franktown Road left a man in the hospital in critical condition.

Police were called to the location by a shot spotter notification and found the unidentified man lying in the  street suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

Police have not made any arrests in the shootings and are asking that anyone with formation concerning the shootings to call Homicide detectives at 412-323-7800.

Steve Pope can be contacted at steve.pope@grantstreetnews.com

Murder suspect arrested after SWAT standoff

By Steve Pope | August 9, 2018

Pittsburgh police arrested a man late Wednesday after a standoff that lasted several hours with a SWAT team and charged him with homicide in connection with a shooting that occured around 12:45 p.m. on Brownsville Road.

A Pittsburgh homicide detective alleged in a criminal complaint that Earl Jackson, 32, of Pittsburgh, argued with the victim identified as Tamon Hatchin and then shot him three times with a 9mm Glock handgun.

A witness, according to police, was speaking with Mr. Hatchin at the corner of Marland Street and Brownsville Road when Jackson pulled up in a blue SUV.

The unnamed witness said that Mr. Hatchin told him he didn’t know Jackson. Moments later after a brief argument, Jackson retrieved the handgun from his waist and shot Mr. Hatchin.

After paramedics transported him to Mercy Hospital, Mr. Hatchin was pronounced dead at approximately 1:30 p.m.

Around 7:45 p.m. police acting on a tip located Jackson at a home in the 200 block of Steuben Street and made several unsuccessful attempts to communicate with him and then requested a SWAT team and a crisis negotiator respond.

Shortly after 11 p.m. after repeated efforts urging Mr. Jackson to surrender, the Pittsburgh SWAT team entered the home and took Mr. Jackson into custody.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 22. He faces one count of criminal homicide as well as weapons charges.

Steve Pope can be contacted at steve.pope@grantstreetnews.com




One person dead after a shooting today in Pittsburgh’s Knoxville section

By Amanda Klein | August 8, 2018

Police say a shooting that occurred at approximately 12:50 p.m. Wednesday has left one person dead.

Pittsburgh Police and homicide detectives responded to a report of a person shot at the intersection of Marland Street and Brownsville Road and found a male lying on the street suffering from an apparent gunshot wound.

Police say witnesses reported that the victim was involved in an altercation prior to the shooting.

The unidentified male victim was taken to a hospital in critical condition where he was later pronounced dead.

The incident remains under investigation.

Amanda Klein can be contacted at amanda.klein@grantstreetnews.com

14-year-old and three other teens charged in carjacking spree

By Terri Hill | August 8, 2018

A 14-year-old juvenile is among several other teens that Pittsburgh Police arrested Tuesday and charged with a string of carjackings.

Police say the three juveniles carjacked a car belonging to a 66-year-old man on Tuesday in the 7300 block of Reynolds Street. The teens assaulted and physically removed the man from his 2015 blue Subaru Forrester.

Just before 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, officers in the Homewood section of Pittsburgh were flagged down by a construction worker who saw the blue Forrester moments before. Officers were able to catch up to the vehicle and after a brief foot chase, four males and one female were arrested.

The driver was identified as the 14-year-old male who was also arrested on charges that he carjacked a vehicle from a 75-year-old male on the 500 block S. Murtland Avenue on Monday, as well as another vehicle he carjacked from a 70-year-old female at Bakery Square.

High-quality images taken at Bakery Square captured the 14-year-old carjacking the vehicle.

The 14-year-old is being held in the Shuman Juvenile Detention Center.

Terri Hill can be contacted at terri.hill@grantstreetnews.com

Allegheny County Police Commander alleged to have violated state wiretap laws, two lawsuits claim

By Steve Pope | August 7, 2018

A Commander with the Allegheny County Police Department received and distributed private and personal text messages his ex-wife and another woman sent to friends while at River Casino in 2017, according to two separate lawsuits filed in Common Pleas Court.

The complaints say Scott Scherer, a county police commander, his attorney, Dennis McCurdy, several employees of Rivers Casino identified as John Does, as well as the casino itself violated the state Wiretap Act, when they used surveillance cameras to zoom in and capture text and email messages sent by the two women and by unlawfully disclosing the contents of the messages to unauthorized persons.

The court filings do not identify Mr. Scherer as a police officer and he is not being sued in his official capacity as a county employee.

The first lawsuit which was filed Friday afternoon, claims that Mr. Scherer received messages sent by Hayley Clerici, his ex-wife, after Mr. McCurdy, who is representing him in a custody case filed in Butler County, subpoenaed the records from Rivers Casino, the filing states.

According to the lawsuits, the disclosure of the actual messages were not in compliance with the subpoena because, “the subpoena requested video surveillance recordings from September 21 and 22, 2017, while the recordings disclosed by Rivers Casino were made on October 28, 2017.”

After receiving the messages, Mr. Scherer then shared them with others in violation of state wiretap laws, the filing alleges.  “In late 2017, Scherer ultimately received the recordings of Plaintiff’s text messages and/or email communications and, while in Allegheny County, thereafter intentionally disclosed some or all of those messages/emails.”

The complaint also alleges that Mr. Scherer disclosed the contents of the messages with the purpose “to ridicule and/or to embarrass plaintiff in light of the sensitive and private nature of her messages, emails and/or financial information.”

As a result of her messages being captured and then shared with unauthorized persons, Ms. Clerici has suffered “severe emotional distress; anxiety; embarrassment; humiliation” and other damages, the complaint alleges.

The second complaint also filed Friday, alleges that on October 28, 2017, while at the casino with Ms. Clerici, text messages sent by Julie Capone were also captured by casino employees and were eventually given to Mr. Scherer.

The contents of the messages were not disclosed in the two complaints.

Rivers Casino intentionally violated the state Wiretap Act when it used “surveillance equipment/electronic device(s) to view and/or record the subject text messages and email communications,” the filings said.

An Allegheny County spokeswoman declined to comment on the lawsuits saying they are a private matter, according to a media report.

Rivers Casino did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

Steve Pope can be contacted at steve.pope@grantstreetnews.com




Three members of a violent street gang face federal racketeering charges

By Steve Pope | August 7, 2018

Three Pittsburgh residents who federal prosecutors say are members of a violent street gang known as “11 Hunnit” have been charged with committing more than two dozen crimes since the group was organized in April of 2015.

Charged in the indictment that was unsealed today are Dionte Griffin, 22, Sydney Pack, 20, and Richard Kelly, 23, all of Pittsburgh.

The filing also references a person identified at “T.S.” who authorities allege was the gang’s leader. Based on information taken from public documents, as well as police sources, it is believed that “T.S.” is deceased Pittsburgh rapper Jimmy Wopo.

Wopo’s business manager has denied that Wopo was involved in any gang related activity.

According to the indictment, since April of 2015 the gang is responsible for three homicides, eight shootings and dozens of drug and firearms related crimes.  During one of the shootings on October 21, 2016, a seven-year-old boy was injured.

The indictment alleges that the mother of a gang member identified as “W.C.” purchased a handgun for him which was used in several shootings and then reported the gun stolen a week later.

The 11 Hunnit gang is primarily comprised of individuals from the 800 block of Memory Lane and the 300 block of Burrows Street in the Hill District, the indictment alleges.

Members of the gang were required to commit acts of violence to maintain membership and the gang funded their crimes by drug trafficking and robberies. In addition family members and friends of the gang members purchased weapons on their behalf, known as “Straw Purchasers,” which is illegal under federal law.

The indictment references four YouTube videos posted by a group member identified as “J.W.” but were made by Wopo which include “Chicky Talk,” What U Know,” “Rents Due” and “Patty Cake.” These rap videos include references to the group’s violent activities and feature appearances by 11 Hunnit gang members, including Pack and Griffin.

All three are currently being held in the Allegheny County Jail.  Griffin and Pack are scheduled to make their first court appearance Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. before Magistrate Judge Robert C. Mitchell.  Kelly will make his initial appearance on September 11, 2018, at 1:30 p.m., before Magistrate Judge Lisa Pupo Lenihan.

Steve Pope can be contacted at steve.pope@grantstreetnews.com