Father of man killed by Port Authority police arrested again
March 6, 2016 11:45 PM
Bruce T. Kelley Sr. walks to his recent preliminary hearing in Wilkinsburg on Thursday on charges that included assault on police. On Sunday, Kelley was back in jail for being on Port Authority property, possessing a weapon and public drunkeness.
Bruce Kelley Sr.
By Molly Born / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The man accused of fighting with a police officer in a January encounter that left the man's son and a police dog dead in Wilkinsburg was arrested again Sunday on Port Authority property.
Bruce T. Kelley Sr., 60, is in the Allegheny County Jail awaiting arraignment on charges of possessing a prohibited weapon, defiant trespass and public drunkenness.
Port Authority police arrested him shortly after 7 p.m. after video surveillance showed a man, later confirmed to be Kelley Sr., on the Wilkinsburg Station platform of the Martin Luther King Jr. Busway.
A judge last week ordered him to remain off Port Authority property.
According to a criminal complaint, Kelley Sr. was intoxicated and had with him brass knuckles with a folding knife inside and alcohol, including one open bottle.
Police couldn't charge him by summons because the address he gave them didn't match that on his state ID card, the complaint continued.
Kelley Sr. is charged with aggravated assault on an officer, possessing a prohibited weapon, obstructing administration of law, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness in the Jan. 31 incident in which police fatally shot his son Bruce Kelley Jr., 37, after they said the younger man stabbed a police dog.
At a preliminary hearing on the latter charges Thursday, District Judge Kim Marie Hoots allowed Kelley to leave jail to live with his sister-in-law and to get treatment for alcoholism from the Veterans Administration. She also dismissed charges of aggravated assault by physical menace and resisting arrest.
Shortly before 3:37 p.m. on Jan. 31, according to police, Kelley Sr. and his son were the Hamnett Place Station gazebo along the Busway drinking.
As the officers approached, they said Kelley Jr. got up and tried to walk away. They told him to stop. He did and then began to “aggressively approach” the officers, according to a criminal complaint for the elder man.
“He stated [expletive] this and rushed Officer Adams,” police wrote, and a fight began.
While Kelley Jr. was fighting, police said he yelled to his father to help. Kelley Sr. then approached Officer Hampy and punched her in the face, police said. The two fought, with Kelley knocking Officer Hampy’s radio and name tag off her uniform. She sprayed him with pepper spray and pushed him to the ground. Once he was down, she left to help her partner subdue Kelley Jr.
Kelley Sr. got up and again tried to help his son, according to the complaint, and one of the officers sprayed him again.
During the altercation, both men escaped from police and ran, apparently heading down the trail that runs along the busway.
A second encounter broke out about 17 minutes later when officers caught up with the Kelleys along Whitney Street, a dead end adjoining the busway trail consisting of run-down and boarded-up houses.
Police tried to subdue Kelley Jr. with a Taser, but his thick coat prevented the charge from having any effect.
When other officers’ Tasers also failed to stop Kelley Jr., the Port Authority officer released the dog. Kelley Jr., who was carrying a knife with a 4-inch blade, stabbed the dog in the head, police said, after which two officers shot Kelley Jr. in front of an abandoned house.