Michael Rosfeld, cop who fatally shot Antwon Rose, to be sued in unrelated case
Two men arrested last year by Michael Rosfeld when he worked for the University of Pittsburgh police department plan to file a lawsuit against the officer who was charged with homicide in an unrelated case this week, an attorney said Thursday.
Max Petrunya, an attorney with Robert Peirce & Associates, said the lawsuit will be filed on behalf of two of three men Rosfeld arrested in a Dec. 9 incident at the Garage Door Saloon in Oakland. The bar also will be named as a defendant.
Petrunya did not provide details about the nature of the lawsuit or say whether it would be filed in Allegheny County or federal court. He anticipated filing the suit next week.
In criminal complaints filed against Timothy Riley, Jacob Schilling and Daniel Humphrey in the Garage Door incident, Rosfeld wrote that he responded to the bar just before 10:30 p.m. to assist another officer. Rosfeld wrote that when he arrived, the first officer had Riley, Schilling and Humphrey up against the wall of the bar.
Rosfeld wrote that the three were intoxicated, and he placed Riley into custody “for (the) officer’s safety, as he was extremely belligerent” and yelling at the officer and bar owner Mark Welshonse.
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Welshonse told police that he had Riley, Schilling and Humphrey, as well as a fourth man, thrown out of the bar for attempting to fight with other patrons, according to the complaint. He alleged that one man, later identified as Hunt, kicked a glass door.
The complaint alleges that Hunt took off and the other three men began to attack a Saloon employee.
Schilling, Riley and Humphrey were charged with disorderly conduct, trespassing, public drunkenness and simple assault. All charges were withdrawn Dec. 21.
Rosfeld was charged Wednesday with homicide in the June 19 shooting death of Antwon Rose. Rosfeld, now an East Pittsburgh police officer, shot and killed Rose when he ran from a traffic stop.
Rose, 17, was unarmed and running away when Rosfeld fired three shots, which struck him in the face, elbow and back. The gunshot to his back was fatal.
S. Lee Merritt, an attorney for Rose’s family, said his investigators have uncovered “a significant history of abuse of authority, and a pattern that should have signaled East Pittsburgh not to hire this officer.”
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr., who filed the charges against Rosfeld, said only that his investigators have a copy of Rosfeld’s personnel file and that some of Rosfeld’s past behavior concerned him.
Rosfeld’s attorney, Pat Thomassey, could not be reached for comment.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter @meganguzaTrib.