The Pitt News

Two men file suit against Pitt, G-Door and Michael Rosfeld

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Two men are suing Pitt, Michael Rosfeld and Garage Door Saloon over an alleged incident of excessive force in December. (Photo by Anna Bongardino | Visual Editor)

Two men are suing Pitt, Michael Rosfeld and Garage Door Saloon over an alleged incident of excessive force in December. (Photo by Anna Bongardino | Visual Editor)

Two men are suing Pitt, Michael Rosfeld and Garage Door Saloon over an alleged incident of excessive force in December. (Photo by Anna Bongardino | Visual Editor)

By Grant Burgman, News Editor

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Timothy Riley and Jacob Schilling are suing the University of Pittsburgh, Oakland bar Garage Door Saloon and Michael Rosfeld — the former Pitt police officer on trial for homicide after shooting and killing Antwon Rose Jr. June 19.

The complaint against Rosfeld references an incident at the Garage Door Saloon on Dec. 9 in which Rosfeld arrested them on charges of simple assault, disorderly conduct, defiant trespass and public drunkenness.

The charges were later dropped Dec. 21 when Rosfeld’s affidavit did not match evidence and accounts of the case, the lawsuit states. The suit says the charges were thrown out after “the footage contained on the security cameras from the Garage Door did not support any of the allegations contained in the Criminal Complaint and in fact contradicted the allegations.”

Rosfeld originally claimed that he responded to the incident at Garage Door Saloon to aid another officer. When he arrived the officer had the men held against a wall and he claimed the men smelled of alcohol and were yelling at the officer and owner Mark Welshonse.

The lawsuit alleges that Rosfeld was “not fully qualified to perform his duties as a Pitt Police Officer” and that Rosfeld’s “prior work history and conduct raised red flags and/or concerns pertaining to his ability to work safely with the public in performing his duties as a Pitt Police Officer.”

Rosfeld is already on trial after his involvement in the death of 17-year-old Rose Jr. Rosfeld fired three shots at Rose Jr. who was fleeing from a vehicle Rosfeld and another officer pulled over suspecting it was involved in a shooting in North Braddock earlier that night. Rose Jr. was unarmed at the time Rosfeld opened fire. He died later that night after being taken to the hospital.

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala officially charged Rosfeld with homicide June 27.

Riley and Schilling are also suing Welshonse, claiming that they were “unreasonably and forcefully extricated from the bar” by Welshonse while they were celebrating Riley’s birthday at the bar.

Welshonse did not answer when The Pitt News called for comment and has not responded to messages left by The Pitt News.  

The lawsuit alleges that Welshonse never asked the men to leave and instead the men were “unreasonably forcibly extricated from the bar without warning.” It goes on to say, “Mr. Schilling and his friend did not engage in any conduct that was dangerous to any of the general public, nor did they do anything that would warrant their forceful removal from the bar.”

Rosfeld left the Pitt police in January, shortly after the charges were dropped in regards to the Dec. 9 alleged incident at the Garage Door Saloon.

Pitt spokesperson Joe Miksch said via email that the University of Pittsburgh does not comment on pending or ongoing litigation.

Southside Sin City, Inc., which the complaint says is the corporation that does business as the Garage Door Saloon, and Pitt police Chief James Loftus were also named defendants in the suit. Daniel Humphrey, the 26-year-old son of Pitt senior vice chancellor for engagement Kathy Humphrey, was also arrested the night of Dec. 9. The charges against him were also dropped, and he is not a party to the lawsuit. 

Peirce is reportedly seeking monetary compensation for damages and attorney costs.

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Two men file suit against Pitt, G-Door and Michael Rosfeld