Excessive force lawsuit against 4 Pittsburgh officers goes to federal court |

Excessive force lawsuit against 4 Pittsburgh officers goes to federal court

Theresa Clift
Footage capture by a bystander shows the arrest of David Jones, 34, and Daniel Adelman, 47, outside PPG Paints Arena, Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler said.
Allegheny County
Daniel Adelman

A lawsuit accusing four Pittsburgh police officers of using excessive force to arrest an Ohio man outside PPG Paints Arena has been moved to federal court.

The city of Pittsburgh and police Chief Scott Schubert, two of the defendants in the case, asked Monday for the case to be moved from the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, according to court documents.

The lawsuit, filed April 17 by Daniel Adelman and his wife, Jennifer Adelman, names officers Andrew Jacobs, Todd Modena, Brian Markus and Robert Palivoda and Aramark Sports and Entertainment Services LLC as defendants.

Aramark is included as a defendant for serving alcohol to Adelman inside the arena even though he was “visibly intoxicated,” the complaint says.

The Pittsburgh Public Safety Department does not comment on ongoing litigation, a spokesman said.

The Adelmans, of Ravenna, Ohio, were at a Roger Waters concert Sept. 19 at PPG Paints Arena. When Daniel Adelman stepped outside for a cigarette, he saw one man on top of another in an apparent fight, the complaint says.

Adelman walked over and shoved the larger man off the smaller man to break up the fight, according to the complaint. Neither was wearing a police uniform.

Uniformed officers approached and yelled “Police, freeze,” and the officer whom Adelman had shoved aside took him to the ground and started punching him, then slammed his head down on the pavement repeatedly, the complaint said.

A video of the violent arrest went viral on Facebook after a bystander posted it .

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Pittsburgh police later said authorities were taking the other man, wanted on a warrant out of Butler County on forgery charges, into custody when Adelman interfered.

The city requested the lawsuit be moved to federal court because it contains allegations about civil rights violations.

The complaint also claims battery, a policy of tolerance of excessive force, malicious prosecution, abuse of process and false arrest.

Theresa Clift is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-5669, [email protected] or via Twitter @tclift.

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