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