Archive

Allegheny County Police officer jailed over 3 road-rage incidents, accused of intimidation, assault | TribLIVE.com
News

Allegheny County Police officer jailed over 3 road-rage incidents, accused of intimidation, assault

ptrcoparrest060813
Allegheny County District Attorney's Office
Allegheny County police Officer Andrew Marculaitis 49, of Brentwood was arrested Friday, June 7, 2013, in connection with three separate incidents of road rage.

An Allegheny County police officer accused of assaulting people in three road-rage incidents in Brentwood and Pittsburgh went to jail on Friday.

Detectives with the district attorney’s office charged Officer Andrew Marculaitis, 49, of Brentwood with 20 counts, including ethnic intimidation, simple assault, harassment and official oppression. He is being held at Allegheny County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond.

County spokeswoman Amie Downs said Marculaitis, a county police officer for 21 years, is on sick leave. She declined comment on the arrest. Attorney Phil DiLucente said his client has been working light duty since he fell off his horse just before the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

County Police Superintendent Charles Moffatt did not return calls seeking comment. Downs declined further comment.

“The police criminal complaint is voluminous, and the charges are extensive,” DiLucente said. “I’m going to need several days to get my arms around the complaints.”

One incident, captured May 23 on a cellphone video, shows Marculaitis striking Zackary Espy’s sedan and reaching into the car, according to a criminal complaint. Marculaitis, who was driving a motorcycle, pulled alongside Espy when he stopped at a stop sign on Spangler and Catskill streets in Brentwood, police said.

Espy told police that a man wearing a Blue Knight Motorcycle Club vest with a gold badge got off the motorcycle and hit Espy in the forehead and grabbed his shoulder.

Shawn Siciliano, who was in the back seat, tried to get out of the car, but when Marculaitis kicked the door shut and used a racial slur, Siciliano locked the door and began recording with his phone, the complaint said. Another passenger in the car, Rae Schwarz, told Espy to drive away, and he fled, eventually going to the Brentwood police station to report the incident. He called police later to say by enhancing the cellphone video he was able to read the name tag on the motorcycle-club vest as “Marculaitis,” the complaint said.

Brentwood police told district attorney’s detectives about two other reports of road rage involving Marculaitis.

Passers-by called 911 on May 23, when they saw a man, identified in the complaint as Marculaitis, drive aggressively on Route 51. Witnesses told police he argued with another man while he had a gun on his hip, the complaint said.

On May 31, Wendy Harmon told Brentwood police that a man, who they identified as Marculaitis, blocked her vehicle on East Garden Road and berated her about her driving while wearing a badge on his belt and a gun at his hip.

She said he refused to move his car and she had to squeeze by him to get away. When police questioned Marculaitis about that incident, he told them the woman should not have a driver’s license and called later to say she had blocked his way. It wasn’t clear whether Marculaitis knew any of the alleged victims.

Marculaitis is expected to undergo a behavioral evaluation. DiLucente said he would try for a bond modification after his client is evaluated. He said Marculaitis has been married for 28 years and has three adult children.

Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or [email protected].

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.