Use of Force During Gay Pride Arrest Investigated

by Joe Mandak
Monday Jun 16, 2014
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Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Stephen Bucar, left, makes a statement during a news conference with Mayor Bill Peduto.
Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Stephen Bucar, left, makes a statement during a news conference with Mayor Bill Peduto.  (Source:AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

A Pittsburgh police officer has been put on desk duty after video surfaced showing him punching a woman at the city’s gay pride parade and festival.

Mayor Bill Peduto said Monday the officer will remain on restricted duty for a month during an internal investigation.

The officer, Souroth Chatterji (SOO’-rawth chah-ter-JEE’), says he was trying to break up a fight when he grabbed the woman by the head and punched her in the side so he could handcuff and arrest her. He accuses her of fighting with him and kicking him in the groin.

Twenty-two-year-old Ariel Lawther, of Harmony, is charged with aggravated assault against the officer. She also is charged with simple assault for allegedly attacking a man the mayor says was a parade opponent.

She did not respond to a message seeking comment.

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