A 46-year-old Pennsylvania man is facing criminal charges after cellphone video shows him pinning a 13-year-old child to the ground, refusing to let him leave a Greenfield park.
Thomas D’Andrea was seen sitting atop the juvenile, whom he’d accused of vandalizing an abandoned construction truck parked near the playground, CBS Pittsburgh reported, citing court documents. When his multiple calls to police proved ineffective, the man took it upon himself to pin the boy down until officers arrived.
“How could you?!” asked Shalaya Hasbrouck, the boy’s mother. “Weren’t you raised better? What if your mother saw this video, how would she feel to see her son attacking a child? I think she would be disgusted.”
In video from the incident, the boy’s sister is heard screaming for D’Andrea to get off her brother and let him go. She tells the stranger her brother has asthma and is bleeding from his mouth.
According to court documents, D’Andrea told authorities he spotted the child snooping near the abandoned truck and assumed he was up to no good. The teen, who remains unnamed, denied the stranger’s vandalism claims and told police he simply walked over to the truck to check it out and sit inside of it.
That’s when D’Andrea confronted the youth, giving him a head start to run while he dialed for police. The teen didn’t budge, however. He admitted to hitting the man in self-defense after dodging one of D’Andrea’s punches.
Officers arrived to find the man pinning the boy against a piece of playground equipment and ordered him to turn the child loose.
After a review of the incident, police determined D’Andrea was indeed the aggressor and charged him with simple assault. D’Andrea, who the Pittsburgh Public Safety department identified as a city firefighter, is also charged with criminal mischief in the June 25 incident, station WTAE reported.
Officials said he has since been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
Watch more in the video below.