Pittsburgh police say they’ve identified the two teens accused of chasing and pulling a man to the ground downtown on Smithfield Street Monday night and then punching him in the face.
The victim fell and hit his head, knocking him unconscious.
Police now say they are investigating whether the same teens may have been involved in other assaults, including a similar attack earlier this month.
“We are aware of that. He was arrested on that,” said Pittsburgh Police Cmdr. Richard Ford. “And we are still following up on that investigation as well as any other potential incidents he may have been involved in.”
Ford also addressed what Target 11 exposed earlier this week, that there was no place to house the teens due to last year’s closing of the troubled Shuman detention center.
While the courts and the county have been searching for an alternative, the county has reserved 16 beds at private facilities.
But when these beds are filled, juvenile offenders are released to their parents.
In the assault case Monday, the mother refused to take her son.
Child, Youth and Family Services wouldn’t take him because of the arrest warrant. He was ultimately sent for psychological evaluation.
“Obviously not having a facility within the city of Pittsburgh or even in Allegheny County does present some challenges for us,” Ford said. “But we work around those, obviously. It doesn’t affect what we are going to charge or how we are going to investigate, that’s kind of a problem for the higher-ups. Believe me, it’s been a discussion, and I’m hopeful that some time comes forward in the future that’s going to help rectify that.”
A spokesperson for the courts told us a couple months ago they were hoping a private company would open a facility for juveniles.
Target 11 spoke with the him again the other day and he says they are still working on a solution, but there is nothing to report yet.
At last check, the victim was in critical but stable condition.
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