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Suspended Westmoreland sheriff department captain pleads not guilty to summary citation

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Travis Day, 23, of Jeannette was appointed captain in the Westmoreland County SheriffÕs Department.

A suspended Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Office captain pleaded not guilty to a summary harassment citation filed recently by Penn State University Police for an alleged incident in State College.

According to online court records, State College District Judge Steven F. Lachman has scheduled a 1:45 p.m. Oct. 9 summary hearing for sheriff’s department Capt. Travis Day in connection with the incident that allegedly occurred Aug. 10 while Day was attending a mandatory 19-week training course.

The training was required before Day, 24, of Jeannette, could continue active duty with the sheriff’s office.

Police contend the incident occurred inside the university’s student activity center, the HUB-Robeson Center. Police allege Day, “with the intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person did follow the victim, did go through the victim’s belongings, and did not allow the victim to walk past him while going upstairs.”

According to the citation, Day could have avoided a hearing by pleading guilty and paying a $300 fine.

Penn State officials told the Tribune-Review in August that Day was removed from the sheriff’s deputy training program after the alleged incident.

“Mr. Day was released from the program that is delivered by the Justice and Safety Institute and funded by the Pennsylvania Crime and Delinquency Commission due to alleged violations of the program’s code of conduct. Penn State Police have investigated the incident and action was taken,” the statement read.

Day was suspended with pay. Last week, Westmoreland County Controller Jeff Balzer reported Day went to unpaid status Aug. 27. Balzer said Day was still a county employee.

That was the same day he was found guilty in absentia when he failed to appear before Hempfield District Judge Anthony Bompiani on a charge of failing to obey traffic control devices. That charge was filed after a 2 a.m. incident Feb. 10 after Day allegedly drove into a restricted area of the Greensburg state police property on Westmoreland Avenue posted “Do Not Enter.”

In March, Westmoreland County Sheriff Jonathan Held hired Day to the captain’s position at $39,126 a year. That made Day, who had no prior law enforcement experience, the third-ranking member of the department.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.

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