A suspended Allegheny County police officer waived his preliminary hearing today on charges connected to what police described as three road rage incidents.
Andrew Marculaitis, 49, of Brentwood, has improved since he began taking medication for likely recurrent depression and intermittent explosive disorder, said his attorney Philip DiLucente.
Mr. DiLucente said he hopes Officer Marculaitis and prosecutors will be able to find an "amicable" outcome to the case.
Officer Marculaitis faces charges of simple assault official oppression and intimidation and was released from the Allegheny County Jail on electronic home monitoring last month.
Investigators from the Allegheny County district attorney's office wrote in a criminal complaint that Brentwood police were called to Catskill and Elroy streets about 3:45 p.m. on May 26 for a report that a man on a motorcycle pulled up next to another car and began hitting the window and threatening the people inside the car.
One of the passengers told police the man used a racial slur. People inside the car recorded the incident and investigators saw that the man was wearing a vest that said "Marculaitis."
During that investigators, the district attorney's office learned that Brentwood police had spoken with Officer Marculaitis about an incident that happened on Route 51 in Pittsburgh on May 23.
In that case, one witness told investigators that Officer Marculaitis had his gun, a badge and a baton with him at the time and that at least once pointed his baton at the man with whom he was arguing.
Brentwood police said they also suspect Officer Marculaitis stopped his car a few feet in front of a woman, walked toward her "in an aggressive manner" while wearing his gun on his hip and gold badge and berated her. He later "acknowledged his involvement in that incident" and later called police to report a suspicious vehicle that had blocked his path, referencing that incident with the woman, according to the complaint.
Mr. DiLucente has said he thinks his client's depression dates back to an injury he sustained while riding a horse in Pittsburgh's 2004 St. Patrick's Day parade. Because of that injury, doctors amputated part of his foot, causing pain and weight gain that led to depression.
Liz Navratil: firstname.lastname@example.org