Lunching sheriff’s deputies foil men’s ‘cartoon-like’ escape from Downtown halfway house |

Lunching sheriff’s deputies foil men’s ‘cartoon-like’ escape from Downtown halfway house

Brian C. Rittmeyer
Chad St. Clair (left) and Matthew Comer (right)

Allegheny County Sheriff’s deputies caught two men trying to carry out a “cartoon-like” escape from a Downtown Pittsburgh halfway house Monday by going down a fire escape, authorities said.

Sgt. Tom Ninehouser and Deputy Jon Monaco were eating lunch at the Pittsburgh Municipal Courts building when they saw two men — Chad St. Clair, 36, of Smithfield and Matthew Comer, 36, of Pittsburgh — coming down the back stairwell of the Renewal Inc. building on Second Avenue and realized they were attempting to escape, authorities said.

St. Clair and Comer were housed at Renewal in compliance with their probation or parole. St. Clair had pleaded guilty to a robbery charge earlier this year; Comer pleaded guilty to a federal firearms violation, according to the sheriff’s department.

Monaco demanded to know what they were doing. St. Clair said he wanted to go back to jail and surrendered to deputies, the sheriff’s department said.

Comer tried to get away from the Municipal Courts parking lot toward Second Avenue, authorities said. He did not get far, and Monaco took him into custody after a brief scuffle in which Monaco was injured.

St. Clair and Comer were taken to the Pittsburgh Municipal Courts Building, where they were being held while charges were being filed.

Monaco was treated and released from a medical facility, the sheriff’s department said.

Brian Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter @BCRittmeyer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.