Whitaker police officer charged with threatening woman after stop
A part-time Whitaker police officer is facing multiple charges after an investigator with the district attorney's office said he broke a woman's window during a traffic stop, then threatened to file charges if she didn't pay to fix the gun he used to do it.
Officer William Davis, 35, will be charged by summons with official oppression, making false statement, criminal mischief and criminal attempt related to the threat, the Allegheny County district attorney's office said Friday.
An investigator with the DA's office concluded Officer Davis gave the woman two choices: agree to accept responsibility for the accident and avoid charges, or refuse and be charged, risking immediate jail time and potentially tarnishing her job pursuits.
According to the criminal complaint, Officer Davis pulled over Danielle Stillwell, 28, about 9 p.m. June 27, as she was turning off the Rankin Bridge onto Route 837. Officer Davis told investigators she did not use her turn signal, so he activated the lights and sirens in the unmarked car he was driving.
Ms. Stillwell told investigators Officer Davis exited the vehicle wearing shorts and a T-shirt, so she drove away before he reached her BMW sedan.
Ms. Stillwell told investigators she called 911 and stopped in traffic near Route 837 and Hoffman Boulevard, when Officer Davis approached her car, brandished a gun, and demanded she roll down the window, according to the complaint.
When she inadvertently rolled down the driver's side rear window, he attempted twice to break the driver's window with his gun, creating two holes, she told investigators.
Officer Davis told investigators he was on the lookout for a sedan that may have been involved in drug activity, and that when he approached her car, he was wearing a visible police badge.
Officer Davis also said Ms. Stillwell ignored his commands to exit the vehicle and saw her reaching for something in the center console, so he attempted to break the window, according to the affidavit.
Ms. Stillwell said she exited the car, was handcuffed and lay on the ground for about five to 10 minutes when a uniformed officer arrived. Officer Davis searched the car then had it towed, while Ms. Stillwell was taken to the borough station by another uniformed officer.
At the station, Officer Davis interviewed Ms. Stillwell and permitted her to leave after she agreed to pay for the damage to his gun to avoid charges.
First Published October 20, 2012 12:00 am