The man who led police on a chase from Finleyville into South Park Township before police shot him early Saturday faces new charges over statements he allegedly made to a police officer in a Pittsburgh hospital.
Allegheny County police charged Joshua D. Burton, 29, of South Park, with terroristic threats and disorderly conduct on Thursday, five days after detectives from the department accused him of fighting with a Monongahela officer before the officer shot him.
The more recent charges stem from remarks Burton allegedly made on Monday during county police Officer Scott Moffat’s shift guarding him at UPMC-Mercy hospital.
Moffat wrote that Burton became angry when he was told that he wasn’t allowed to use the phone. During the ensuing two hours, he allegedly said that he now understood why people shoot police during “rampages,” that he would shoot up a police station and that he would “splatter (Moffat’s) head all over the dashboard.”
Court papers don’t list an attorney for Burton.
Police are detaining Burton while he undergoes medical treatment. Court records say a Monongahela officer – who isn’t identified in court papers – shot Burton in the stomach while Burton was “advancing aggressively” toward him on Edgewood Street on Saturday.
A little before 3 a.m., another officer from the Mon Valley city had gotten a report that a man named “J.D.” was allegedly selling crack cocaine at Bob’s Tavern in Finleyville. Shortly after, the same officer was told that the man was leaving in a gold Kia whose lights were off.
Allegheny County detectives Greg Renko and Kevin McCool didn’t say who gave police this information in papers charging Burton with aggravated assault and resisting arrest.
The officer who later shot Burton soon spotted what was apparently the same Kia on Route 88 and tried to pull the car over. But instead of staying there, the driver sped back onto the highway.
Both officers pursued the Kia through several turns until the driver – who was later identified as Burton – rammed two parked vehicles, careened over an embankment into a house and tried to flee.
One of the officers chased and caught up with him, grabbing his arm.
The two fought until they wound up on the ground in a grass field, where the officer said Burton knocked him to the ground even after being Tasered, before the officer shot him.
Additional information about Burton’s medical condition wasn’t available on Friday. Monongahela police Chief Kevin Harris said he isn’t naming the officer who shot Burton.
The Allegheny County district attorney’s office will make a determination on the shooting once the county police complete their investigation.
None of the charges filed against Burton so far involve drugs. Court papers don’t mention any having been found. Monongahela police Sgt. Ryan Lenzi wasn’t able to say whether any were.
“It’s still an ongoing investigation at this point,” he said. “Right now, we don’t have solid information on that transaction occurring, what was bought or what was sold.”