Pitt Cop Kick Suit Settled

A firefighter has settled a federal lawsuit with Hanover Township, Pa., for $180,000 stemming from an incident with a police officer at a Toby Keith concert at the Post-Gazette Pavilion in Burgettstown.

According to the lawsuit, Joseph Trone, an Aliquippa Fire Department captain, was at an autograph signing at the venue on September 26, 2003, along with his wife and 9-year-old son.

When a Hanover Township police officer told the family that the performers had left, Trone responded that the band’s entourage was still there, the lawsuit said. The officer allegedly got angry, kicked Trone’s legs out from under him and arrested the fireman for disorderly conduct.

The charge was later dismissed and Trone required surgery for a torn knee ligament, the lawsuit said.

Paul Krepps, the attorney representing the township, said settling the lawsuit was prudent.

“It was a number both sides could agree upon without having to go to trial,” Krepps said. “The injuries made it a high risk for everybody.”

Last January, a Pittsburgh homicide detective received a $50,000 settlement from Hanover Township after he claimed he was roughed up and falsely arrested by Hanover police after a Brooks & Dunn concert. Attorney Timothy O’Brien, who represented the Trones, was also the attorney for the detective.

Krepps said officers who work events at the 23,000-capacity Live Nation amphitheatre are certified as Hanover Township police officers, but only work concerts and do not patrol the municipality. Most of them are officers in other municipalities, he said.