Pittsburgh police officers disciplined

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Two Pittsburgh police officers received oral reprimands for their response to a robbery at the Banksville Eat'n Park.

Officers David Legleitner, 45, and Donna Szablewski, 55, were disciplined for failing to radio their locations while they responded to the robbery outside their normal patrol zone, an attorney for the police union said.

The pair were answering calls on their night shift in the area covered by the city's Zone 2 station in the Hill District May 29, attorney Bryan Campbell said.

When they got a break, "There were no places open within the zone that would have been acceptable to eat," so they left their normal patrol area without contacting a supervisor and went to eat at the Banksville restaurant, Mr. Campbell said.

"They're just pulling up and they see a guy running through the parking lot, and then somebody from inside says, 'Hey, we've been robbed,' so they put two and two together," Mr. Campbell said.

He said Officer Legleitner chased the robber down Banksville Road, and Officer Szablewski went behind the building to see whether anyone else was there. They did not catch the man, who still remains at large.

"What the city was concerned about was the officers didn't get on the air to say they were there and what they were doing, because it's a matter of officer safety," Mr. Campbell said. "I don't think there would have been any discipline just for being out of the zone, having a meal."

The oral reprimand will remain in their files for a year and cannot be appealed, Mr. Campbell said.

Officer Szablewski, who joined the force in 2005, declined comment and Officer Legleitner, who joined the force in 2000, did not respond to a request for comment.

Pittsburgh public safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler did not respond to a request for comment, either.


Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1438 or on Twitter @LizNavratil.

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