Pittsburgh Cop Caught on Camera Beating Teen Acquitted

The assault was caught on camera, a Pittsburgh cop shoving a teen down to the ground twice, then punching him a few times before handcuffing him, which led to criminal charges against Sergeant Stephen Matakovich last year.

All because the 19-year-old man would not leave the outside of Heinz Field where a high school championship football game was being played on November 28.

Well, actually, Gabriel Despres did try to leave after being ordered to do so by a group of security guards.

But they had already called over Matakovich, who was working security detail that night, so Matakovich ordered Despres back, apparently to show him who was boss.

Despres, 19, admitted in court he had been drinking and was trying to get into the game to join his friend. He even admitted he refused to leave at first.

But the surveillance video does not show him to be staggering nor combative. It just shows him walking normally and stranding straight his hands in his pocket.

But Matakovich claimed that Despres “lunged toward him, punched the sergeant in his chest, and also grabbed the sergeant’s jacket,” according to the [__Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.__](http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2015/12/18/Pittsburgh-police-sergeant-charged-with-assault/stories/201512190078)

He also claimed Despres went into the usual fighting stance cops are so fond of claiming.

> “Despres stepped his leg back and bladed his body slightly and appeared to have clenched his right fist … and then rocked onto the balls of his feet from his heels.”

None of that was captured on video. Not even close.

But Matakovich apparently wrote his report before realizing his actions were caught on camera, which led him to be charged with two misdemeanors, including simple assault and official oppression.

But in court, Matakovich argued that Despres never took his hands out of his pockets, which, of course, made him fear for his life.

Naturally, District Justice Robert Ravenstahl [__sided with the cop__](http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2016/02/01/Judge-dismisses-charges-against-cop-accused-in-ejecting-teen-from-WPIAL-playoff-game/stories/201602010153), proclaiming in court that Despres was the aggressor. Seriously, he said that.

![](https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/maven-user-photos/pinacnews/police-brutality/LhlGTxQVnU-jb5b_cF6-uA/CNm7uvvZtUi7IvSwZltrEg)

*District Justice Robert Ravenstahl*

It’s not clear if he even saw the video, but [__he dropped the charges nonetheless.__](http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2016/02/01/charges-dropped-against-heinz-field-officer-accused-of-assaulting-fan-2/)

The courtroom was filled with cops in their customary manner of judicial intimidation, who all exploded in applause.

Ravenstahl’s son, Luke, is the [__city’s former mayor.__](http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2013/03/02/Glare-of-political-life-is-intense-for-families/stories/201303020159)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M57VLHXYnL4

The assault was caught on camera, a Pittsburgh cop shoving a teen down to the ground twice, then punching him a few times before handcuffing him, which led to criminal charges against Sergeant Stephen Matakovich last year.

All because the 19-year-old man would not leave the outside of Heinz Field where a high school championship football game was being played on November 28.

Well, actually, Gabriel Despres did try to leave after being ordered to do so by a group of security guards.

But they had already called over Matakovich, who was working security detail that night, so Matakovich ordered Despres back, apparently to show him who was boss.

Despres, 19, admitted in court he had been drinking and was trying to get into the game to join his friend. He even admitted he refused to leave at first.

But the surveillance video does not show him to be staggering nor combative. It just shows him walking normally and stranding straight his hands in his pocket.

But Matakovich claimed that Despres “lunged toward him, punched the sergeant in his chest, and also grabbed the sergeant’s jacket,” according to the [__Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.__](http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2015/12/18/Pittsburgh-police-sergeant-charged-with-assault/stories/201512190078)

He also claimed Despres went into the usual fighting stance cops are so fond of claiming.

> “Despres stepped his leg back and bladed his body slightly and appeared to have clenched his right fist … and then rocked onto the balls of his feet from his heels.”

None of that was captured on video. Not even close.

But Matakovich apparently wrote his report before realizing his actions were caught on camera, which led him to be charged with two misdemeanors, including simple assault and official oppression.

But in court, Matakovich argued that Despres never took his hands out of his pockets, which, of course, made him fear for his life.

Naturally, District Justice Robert Ravenstahl [__sided with the cop__](http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2016/02/01/Judge-dismisses-charges-against-cop-accused-in-ejecting-teen-from-WPIAL-playoff-game/stories/201602010153), proclaiming in court that Despres was the aggressor. Seriously, he said that.

![](https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/maven-user-photos/pinacnews/police-brutality/LhlGTxQVnU-jb5b_cF6-uA/CNm7uvvZtUi7IvSwZltrEg)

*District Justice Robert Ravenstahl*

It’s not clear if he even saw the video, but [__he dropped the charges nonetheless.__](http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2016/02/01/charges-dropped-against-heinz-field-officer-accused-of-assaulting-fan-2/)

The courtroom was filled with cops in their customary manner of judicial intimidation, who all exploded in applause.

Ravenstahl’s son, Luke, is the [__city’s former mayor.__](http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2013/03/02/Glare-of-political-life-is-intense-for-families/stories/201303020159)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M57VLHXYnL4

Support our Mission

Help us build a database of bad cops

For almost 15 years, PINAC News has remained active despite continuous efforts by the government and Big Tech to shut us down by either arresting us for lawful activity or by restricting access to our readers under the pretense that we write about “social issues.”

Since we are forbidden from discussing social issues on social media, we have created forums on our site to allow us to fulfill our mission with as little restriction as possible. We welcome our readers to join our forums and support our mission by either donating, volunteering or both.

Our plan is to build a national database of bad cops obtained from public records maintained by local prosecutors. The goal is to teach our readers how to obtain these lists to ensure we cover every city, county and state in the country.

After all, the government has made it clear it will not police the police so the role falls upon us.

It will be our most ambitious project yet but it can only be done with your help.

But if we succeed, we will be able to keep innocent people out of prison.

Please make a donation below or click on side tab to learn more about our mission.

Subscribe to PINAC

Bypass Big Tech censorship.

Carlos Millerhttps://pinacnews.com
Editor-in-Chief Carlos Miller spent a decade covering the cop beat for various newspapers in the Southwest before returning to his hometown Miami and launching Photography is Not a Crime aka PINAC News in 2007. He also published a book, The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which is available on Amazon.

Leave a Reply

- Advertisement -

Latest articles