His actions before eviction prompted big police response
August 16, 2013 9:45 PM
John Heller / Post-Gazette
Sarah Pancake, 3, and her mother, Katie Pancake, and Alyssa Reinheimer, right, talk about the erratic behavior of their neighbor, Greg Tchirkow, who was being evicted from his residence on Fordham Avenue in Brookline.
By Lexi Belculfine Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Pittsburgh police, SWAT team, bomb squad and narcotics officers responded to a Brookline home this afternoon after a man who was going to be evicted said he wouldn't leave without a fight.
After receiving an eviction notice on Aug. 5, Greg A. Tchirkow, 34, called and went to District Judge Jim Motznik's Brookline Boulevard office several times, making staff feel "uneasy," according to court documents.
In a phone call Monday morning, he told a secretary, "If they come to evict me at the end of the week, I have a gun, and I ain't afraid to use it," the documents state.
About an hour later, he showed up at the office and confronted constable Bob Utzig, who was to oversee the eviction, according to a criminal complaint.
During their exchange, Mr. Tchirkow told the constable: "You're not getting me out of my house. I don't care if you got a gun. I want you to know, I have a gun."
An arrest warrant for Mr. Tchirkow was issued Thursday, charging him with having threatened the constable. Judge Motznik said it was decided a SWAT team would execute the arrest warrant.
Around 2:30 p.m. today -- the day Mr. Tchirkow was to be evicted -- he was in a vehicle outside his home in the 900 block of Fordham Avenue and spotted two constables nearby in a car, the judge said. He followed the constables.
They drove to the parking lot of the CVS Pharmacy at Pioneer Avenue and Brookline Boulevard, where the man was blocked in by SWAT team members and the constables, Judge Motznik said.
During a sweep of Mr. Tchirkow's car for weapons, police found a small amount of marijuana, more than $1,800 and anti-anxiety medicine that was not prescribed to him, according to court documents.
Police charged him with two misdemeanor drug charges and a felony count of possession with intent to deliver. He was arrested about 3:30 p.m. and transported to the Allegheny County Jail.
Neighbors characterized Mr. Tchirkow as paranoid, noting that he padlocked his front gate and kept to himself.
Mr. Tchirkow previously had been cited and found guilty of discharging a firearm in city limits, after he fired a shot into the ground outside his house during a dispute with a neighbor, according to court documents.