PITTSBURGH – A Pittsburgh-area man accused of fighting with police before his son fatally stabbed a K-9 and was killed by officers has been ordered to stand trial.
A district judge on Thursday agreed to throw out a couple of charges against Bruce Kelley Sr. for the Jan. 31 fracas: one of two charges of aggravated assault and a charge of resisting arrest.
"Overall, I'm exceedingly happy about what happened today," defense attorney Blaine Jones said, adding that the 60-year-old Kelley "maintains his innocence."
Wilkinsburg District Judge Kim Hoots removed Kelley's $25,000 bond, meaning he'll get out of jail in a day or so and be able to stay with his sister-in-law in Washington, Pennsylvania. He'll also get treatment for alcoholism through the Department of Veterans Affairs, Jones said.
Port Authority of Allegheny County police say Kelley and his 37-year-old son, Bruce Kelley Jr., were drinking alcohol in a busway gazebo in Wilkinsburg when they fought with officers.
When Kelley's son struggled with two officers, his father punched one of them, Emily Hampy, in the face, prosecutors said. Hampy pepper-sprayed Kelley's son, but she stopped trying to arrest him when he pulled out a knife.
Instead, several officers trailed Kelley's son as he walked away, waving the knife, and efforts to subdue him with stun guns didn't work because of his thick jacket. When police sent the dog after Kelley Jr., he stabbed it in the head, leading police to fatally shoot him, authorities said.
The district attorney is reviewing whether the dog was used properly. In the meantime, Kelley Sr. now faces trial for aggravated assault, obstruction of law enforcement, public drunkenness, disorderly conduct and possessing a prohibited weapon — brass knuckles.
Jones said the judge was right to toss out a resisting arrest charge because, according to the evidence, Kelley Sr. didn't resist when police tried to arrest him. The obstruction charge stems from what prosecutors call his interference in his son's arrest.
The extra aggravated assault charge, which stemmed the punch on the officer, was dismissed because the judge found Kelley didn't intend to seriously injure her, Jones said.