Pittsburgh councilman to face charges of trying to mow down protesters with his car

Demonstrators angry about the shooting death of Antwon Rose never expected to be struck by a car, but officials in Pittsburg say that's what Councilman Gregory Wagner did just that

(photo by Fotolia)

A Pittsburgh-area city councilman is going to trial on charges of driving through a crowd of demonstrators protesting the police shooting death of unarmed teen Antwon Rose last June.

CBS Pittsburgh reports Bell Acres Borough, Pa., councilman Gregory Wagner racked up reckless driving charges for driving through the group of social justice activists whose protest shut down streets in the town’s North Shore.

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Wagner attended a preliminary hearing where he faced witnesses and victims. One of the charges was dropped but he still faces the others including three counts of reckless endangerment of another person and his case will now move forward.

Three people who reported injuries, Jordan Ciccone, Dan Yablonsky and Mary Catherine Holt testified what happened to them when they were struck.

“The driver was driving into my body. He hit my knees and forced my hands up onto the hood,” said Yablonsky.

“This was a peaceful protest, mostly by people of color and black people fighting for their rights and fighting for accountability after Antwon Rose was gunned down,” said Ciccone.

“So, he, instead of turning around as other people were towards Heinz Stadium – they just did a u-turn. This driver chose to drive into the crowd. My hands were up on the hood of his car. I couldn’t believe he was actually going to drive into me. He may have said my car was damaged. I don’t know anything about the damage,” said Yablonsky.

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Fighting for Justice

Back in June, hundreds of demonstrators gathered to protest the death of 17-year-old Rose, who was shot three times by an East Pittsburgh, Pa., officer while running away from a vehicle during a traffic stop.

The demonstrators marched onto Interstate 376 and shut it down in both directors for five hours, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The gathering prompted police in riot gear to make repeated threats to make arrests if people did not disperse. The group broke up at around 2:30 a.m., clearing the roadway peacefully, according to the news organization.

The cop, Michael Rosfeld was charged with homicide, and remains free on $250,000 unsecured bond.

Wagner’s formal arraignment will be held Jan. 9, 2019.