Violent South Side arrest under investigation
The investigation of alleged misconduct by a Pittsburgh police officer during an arrest on the South Side in May remains ongoing, the Allegheny County district attorney said Thursday.
Officer Raymond Toomey kicked, kneed and punched 27-year-old Nathan Stanley III while arresting him outside The Flats on Carson at 1500 E. Carson St. around 2 a.m. May 7.
District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. said investigators are looking into whether Officer Toomey changed his description of any part of the incident after viewing video a bystander took during the arrest. Officer Toomey filed a police affidavit after the arrest and testified at Mr. Stanley’s preliminary hearing Sept. 6.
“It’s clear Toomey saw the video before he testified,” Mr. Zappala said. “Detectives are looking at any variance between the affidavit, the testimony and the video to determine if a crime was committed.”
Officer Toomey testified at the preliminary hearing that he was working a detail at The Flats bar May 7 when a security guard told him Mr. Stanley had threatened him with a gun. The guard, though, testified he believed he did not tell Officer Toomey about any threats.
Officer Toomey said that as he talked with Mr. Stanley, the man threatened to shoot up the bar. The officer said he never saw a gun or asked Mr. Stanley if he had one, and no gun was recovered at the scene.
A physical altercation began when Officer Toomey attempted to arrest Mr. Stanley, and the two ended up outside the bar. At one point, OfficerToomey testified, Mr. Stanley’s hands came up around the officer’s collar and he felt like his airway was restricted.
He punched Mr. Stanley four times, twice in the face and twice in the abdomen, and then later kicked and kneed him while Mr. Stanley lay on the ground. Officer Toomey testified he delivered the latter blows out of fear Mr. Stanley was reaching for a gun in his waistband — but bystander video shows Mr. Stanley’s hands were flat on the ground when Officer Toomey kicked him.
Officer Toomey remains on desk duty, city police spokeswoman Sonya Toler said.