Police cruiser of slain Penn Hills officer offered for auction; officials 'disturbed'

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Officials in Penn Hills are "disturbed" that the bullet hole-scarred police cruiser Officer Michael Crawshaw's drove the night he was killed was put up for auction online, the municipality's manager said.

"Everybody was pretty upset," Penn Hills manager Mohammed Rayan said today. "This is not what we wanted."

On Dec. 6, 2009, Ronald Robinson shot Officer Crawshaw to death after the officer responded to a call for shots fired in a drug dispute.

When Officer Crawshaw arrived, Robinson fired at least twelve rounds from his AK-47, striking both Officer Crawshaw and his police cruiser.

More than three years later, the cruiser was turned over to the municipality's insurance company. Images of the vehicle show at least four bullet holes in the windshield and several more on the body.

"It made me sick to my stomach that this car ended up on the website," Penn Hills Mayor Anthony L. DeLuca said. "Somewhere down the line there was a miscommunication."

Mr. DeLuca said three years ago he made a decision with members of council that the cruiser should be destroyed once all evidence was gathered and the investigation ended.

Travelers insurance instead put the car up for auction.

"We regret that there wasn't more sensitivity exercised given this unique and tragic situation and apologize for any distress this may have caused and we are actively working with the town to properly handle the vehicle," Travelers spokesman Matt Bordonaro said.

Mr. DeLuca said that the cruiser door will be donated to a museum in Washington, D.C., at the request of Penn Hills police officers.

"The insurance company will crush the rest of the car," he said.

The general manager of the Ellwood City Copart, the site that listed the vehicle, declined to comment.

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Alex Zimmerman: azimmerman@post-gazette.com or 412-263-3909.


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