Fired Pittsburgh Police Sergeant Faces Federal Civil Rights Charges

Apr 7, 2016

A fired Pittsburgh police sergeant accused of wrongly pushing and punching a drunken man at Heinz Field and then lying about it says he's fighting the criminal case against him.

Ex-sergeant Stephen Matakovich has been indicted by a federal grand jury. He's appealing his firing.

Defense attorney Blaine Jones said Wednesday they're prepared to fight the case wherever they need to fight it.

The police chief and the public safety director agreed to fire the 22-year veteran for using what was deemed to be "unreasonable" force during the arrest in November.

The district attorney has refiled charges that Matakovich used excessive force while arresting the man at the WPIAL high school football championships. Those charges are likely to be withdrawn now that Matakovich faces federal civil rights charges. A spokesman for the prosecutor says the federal indictment "is not a surprise."

The FBI reviewed the case because security footage doesn't appear to support Matakovich's claim the drunken man was aggressive.