A firefighter in Pittsburgh has been placed on administrative leave after authorities charged him for assaulting a 13-year-old boy on June 25.
Officers arrived at a park in Pittsburgh’s Greenfield neighborhood to find 46-year-old Thomas Louis D’Andrea holding down the boy at a neighborhood playground, police officers said.
The boy suffered a large lump on his head, a bloody mouth and swollen lips from the altercation, police said.
The boy’s 16-year-old sister caught parts of the altercation on video, which she later shared with police and posted on Twitter.
Video begins showing Pittsburgh firefighter Thomas Louis D’Andrea holding down the boy, as she cries for him to stop.
“Please get off my brother,” she can be heard saying in the video repeatedly.
“I am 13-years-old,” the boy explains
“This man ran up to me and assaulted me,” he says to the camera as his sister records.
But D’Andrea does not listen and continues using force on the boy.
“This child was vandalizing property and assaulting a 46-year-old man,” D’Andrea says while telling witnesses to “take more fucking pictures” before he explodes in a profanity-laced rant.
“The police didn’t fucking come,” he later says, calling one of the children a “fucking maniac.”
Shalayla McGovern, the children’s mother, says it happened when her daughter asked her brother to retrieve her cell phone charger from their home nearby and meet her at the park, according to The Root.
When her son returned to the park, he noticed one of his friends sitting in an abandoned truck, which had been parked in the neighborhood for years, McGovern explained.
Eventually, her son calmed the girl down and she exited the truck.
“He saw them over by the truck, assumed they were vandalizing it, and he called police,” McGovern said.
“He waited and waited but the police didn’t show. So he called the police again, but nothing happened.”
“So he got upset, ran across the street and ran up to my son and basically said: ‘I’m gonna give you a head start, you better run.’
My son was like ‘What? What are you talking about?’
“Then he punched my son in the mouth. So my son hit him back.
“He got upset because my son hit him back. He thought that because he was an adult he could put his hands on someone and the child wasn’t gonna do anything. The next thing you know, they’re on top of the slide. He pins my son down, threatens my daughter…Thankfully my daughter had enough sense to record it.”
As the incident unfolded, McGovern’s daughter called her father who rushed out of the house.
When police showed up, they tell the child’s mother the D’Andrea had not committed a crime.
However, police later determined D’Andrea was the aggressor, later filing charges of criminal mischief (for slamming the boy’s cell phone) and simple assault against him.
A summons was mailed to D’Andrea notifying him of the charges, which were approved by the district attorney’s office.
After the assault, the boy was taken to UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh to be treated for injuries and monitored due to asthma-related trouble breathing.
A second video showing the more of what happened during the incident can be seen here.