Pittsburgh police arrest juvenile in Downtown teacher assault

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Pittsburgh police arrested a 15-year-old boy today for a vicious, apparently unprovoked assault on a teacher last week in a Downtown alley that was captured on video.

Police spokeswoman Diane Richard said the boy, a student at the city's Letsche alternative school, has been charged with simple assault.

"It appears to be a random act, but this juvenile has a track record, already has, for example, a probation officer," said Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's spokeswoman, Joanna Doven.

Surveillance video captures assault on CAPA teacher

Surveillance video provided by the Pittsburgh Police show an apparently unprovoked assault on a CAPA teacher while walking through a Downtown alley. (10/9/2012)

Zone 2 Cmdr. Eric Holmes said patrols by bicycle and K-9 officers in the neighborhood have been increased, particularly around dismissal time for the three schools in the area -- the Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, Urban Pathways Charter School and City Charter High School.

Teacher James Addlespurger of CAPA was walking down Tito Way near the Benedum Center on Thursday afternoon as six young men walked in the other direction.


Suddenly one of the men -- not even the closest one to Mr. Addlespurger -- stepped over to the teacher and socked him in the face, knocking him out with one punch.

As Mr. Addlespurger dropped to the ground, his head striking the curb, the youths continued nonchalantly walking down the alley as the attacker looked back.

"He definitely went out of his way to hit him," Pittsburgh police Zone 2 Detective Al Flemm said today. "Just random. Terrible."

Police are unsure of the motive. Detective Flemm said it does not appear that the victim exchanged words with anyone in the group. Mr. Addlespurger did not recognize any of the young men, who are believed to be between 15 and 18 years old.

Mr. Addlespurger was treated at UPMC Mercy.

At least three passersby rushed to help him, including a woman who passed the group on her way down the alley and witnessed the assault. Additionally, according to the video, a group of three young men were standing at one end of the alley at the time and another group was sitting down at the other end. education - homepage - neigh_city - breaking

Jonathan D. Silver: jsilver@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1962. First Published October 9, 2012 4:00 AM


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