Southwest Regional police officer charged in domestic incident

July 6, 2017

A police officer faces charges in connection with an incident at his home in Monongahela during which he allegedly pointed his service weapon at a woman.

Monongahela police charged Gregory L. Respress, 25, with simple assault, harassment and terroristic threats after officers responded to 516 Pleasant St. Monday afternoon. A woman told an officer she and Respress had been arguing when “Respress became enraged and grabbed her on the back of the neck then pushed (her) to the ground,” according to court records.

Respress told another officer he’d thrown her to the ground to keep her from hurting him.

The woman, who reportedly had red marks and scratches on her right shoulder and marks on the back of her neck, told police Respress is a police officer and allegedly grabbed his service weapon at one point, trained it on her and threatened to kill her, according to an affidavit of probable cause supporting the charges.

She “stated she was able to call the police before anything else worse happened,” Officer William Fusco wrote in the affidavit.

Court papers do not indicate for which department Respress works. Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts records list Respress as working for Southwest Regional Police Department. Southwest police Chief John Hartman did not return a call seeking comment.

Respress reportedly said the woman had become “enraged over what she saw in his phone and started throwing items at him and at one point broke a picture frame on the ground” and “grabbed a broken piece of glass and came after him with it.”

He also reportedly told police she grabbed his service weapon, ejected several rounds from it and “stated she could shoot herself and he would not care.”

Reached Thursday morning, Monongahela police Chief Brian Tempest said he wasn’t familiar with many of the details of the case, but “I do know we seized a firearm.” He did not know for which department Respress works.

Respress was arraigned that day before District Judge Gary Havelka and is free on $5,000 unsecured bond. Court papers don’t list an attorney representing him.

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