Charges filed against councilman who police say drove through crowd of protesters in Pittsburgh
Bell Acres Borough, PA (WTAE) — The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police continues to investigate an incident that happened June 22 outside PNC Park when a vehicle was driven through a group of protesters.
Police identified the driver as Gregory Clark Wagner, 58, of Sewickley.
Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 confirmed Friday that Wagner is a councilman in Bell Acres Borough, near Sewickley Borough.
Wagner was charged with three counts of recklessly endangering another person as well as one charge of driving the wrong way and one charge of careless driving.
According to Wagner’s court docket, Judge Jeffrey Manning was assigned to the case with a preliminary hearing scheduled for July 11.
Protesters were lined across West General Robinson Street, blocking Tony Dorsett Drive, when an officer saw numerous people running and heard protesters screaming that a car was going through a crowd, according to the criminal complaint. Wagner entered oncoming traffic in an attempt to make a U-turn because the intersection was blocked by protesters.
In video captured by Pittsburgh’s Action News 4, protesters were seen pushing, kicking and punching the vehicle, angered after it struck several people.
Two victims in the incident were identified, but police have not released their names. One suffered an ankle injury and another one suffered a back injury and contusions according to police.
However, in a conversation Friday with Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 reporter, Beau Berman, Brianna Williams, 20, identified herself as a victim.
Williams said she suffered a broken hip and sprained ankle. She said she missed a week of work because of the injuries and could barely stand.
When informed that Wagner is a Bell Acres Borough councilman, Williams said she thought he should resign.
“I got hit directly. I have a sprained knee and a fractured hip. I’ve been off work a whole week due to the ignorant behavior. I can barely stand,” said Williams.
“The outcome could have been way more serious. We had kids down there. Lucky no kids got hit and hospitalized.
“That was just not professional and I feel like he thought he wasn’t going to get caught,” she said.
Wagner continued to drive away and officers were unable to locate the vehicle, according to police.
Berman called several of the Bell Acres Borough council members Friday and only one responded to his requests for comment. Brock Meanor sent a statement via Facebook referring all comment to the solicitor. Meanor declined a request for an on-camera interview.
The solicitor later sent out a statement about Wagner’s charges.
“The elected and appointed officials of the Borough of Bell Acres were stunned to hear the news reports late this afternoon. Our sympathies are with those injured in last Friday’s protest outside PNC Park. We will closely monitor the events as this matter moves through the justice system and we will follow the law as set forth in the Pennsylvania Borough Code and Pennsylvania Constitution,” said Robert Max Junker.
Several protesters told officers the number of the license plate on the black Mercedes.
After receiving the license plate number from witnesses and additional information from video captured from the scene, officers went to Wagner’s home. He declined to speak with detectives, according to the criminal complaint.