Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Constable Opens Fire on Driver in Homewood Police Charge Driver with Dui, Assault

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Constable Opens Fire on Driver in Homewood Police Charge Driver with Dui, Assault

Article excerpt

A Pennsylvania constable tried to shoot out a vehicle's tires in Homewood early Sunday, then chased the SUV for a mile before again firing several shots.

Constable John Miller told Pittsburgh police officers that he fired because he thought the SUV's driver, 27-year-old Torrell Jones of Lincoln-Lemington, was trying to run over him and another constable.

The incident began about 2 a.m. with a minor traffic accident.

According to a criminal complaint in the case:

The two constables were sitting at a stop sign on Bennett Avenue near North Murtland Street when Jones rear-ended the constables' vehicle. Mr. Miller and a second constable, Ronald Ciancione, approached the SUV and thought Jones was reaching into the center console.

They told Jones to show his hands, but he refused. Mr. Miller told police Jones then put the SUV in reverse and "tried to run over" Mr. Ciancione.

Mr. Miller fired about seven shots at the driver's side rear tire as Jones drove away.

The constables pursued Jones for about a mile to a parking lot at the corner of Brushton Avenue and Hermitage Street.

There, according to the complaint, Jones reversed his SUV and hit the constables' front bumper. Mr. Miller got out of his vehicle and Jones again put the SUV in reverse and drove toward Mr. Miller.

Mr. Miller fired again. The shots missed Jones, who ran. The two constables then apprehended him, according to the complaint.

The separate incidents of the firing of shots triggered the city's ShotSpotter system and alerted Pittsburgh police. City officers arrested Jones and charged him with driving under the influence and aggravated assault.

It was unclear Monday why the constables were in the area. They were in uniform, according to police.

There are about 1,300 constables in the state. They are responsible for providing security to magisterial district courts, transporting prisoners and serving arrest warrants, among other duties. …

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