Police to investigate Tarentum man's injuries during weekend arrest at Station Square

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A Tarentum man suffered a cracked rib, a broken nose and other injuries when he was arrested at Station Square this weekend.

Public Safety Director Michael Huss said the city received a complaint on Tuesday about the arrest of 28-year-old Edward Lojak Jr. and asked the city's Office of Municipal Investigations to look into the case.

Officer Eric Engelhardt wrote in a criminal complaint that he and a manager removed Shane Fischer, 27, of Saxonburg, from Whim Nightclub in Station Square about 1:15 p.m. on Saturday.

Mr. Fischer returned with Mr. Lojak, who tried to convince them to allow Mr. Fischer to retrieve his phone from inside the club.

Mr. Fischer resisted and began kicking, at one point bending Officer Engelhardt's handcuffs, according to the complaint.

While that was happening, Mr. Lojak approached Officer Engelhardt from behind and a manager stepped in between them, police wrote. The manager pushed Mr. Lojak to his knees and when he got up and approached Officer Engelhardt again, Officer David Honick pushed him back to the ground, according to the complaint.

Police wrote that Mr. Lojak was "highly intoxicated" and lost his balance, causing him to fall face first onto the concrete, break his nose and cause bleeding from his mouth. An X-ray later showed that he had a cracked rib.

Police charged Mr. Lojak with obstructing the administration of the law, resisting arrest, possessing ecstacy and a prescription in someone else's name, disorderly conduct, public drunkenness and aggravated harassment, saying he spit blood in an officer's face.

Mr. Lojak turned himself in Wednesday afternoon with defense attorney Phil DiLucente.

"There's independent witnesses that say he did nothing wrong and should not have been treated the way he was," the lawyer said. "Not one witness. Not two. Not three. Four witnesses.

"He could have been dealt with in a much different way."

Mr. DiLucente said his client suffered injuries to his jaw and teeth.

Based on a lack of criminal history, that he is employed and has a good home, the lawyer hoped Mr. Lojak would be released on his own recognizance.

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Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1438 and on Twitter: @liznavratil. Paula Reed Ward: pward@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2620.


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