Man Waives Preliminary Hearing on Swissvale Brawl Charges
District Judge Thomas Caulfield also hears cases involving DUIs, narcotics.
Mark Long, 18, of Swissvale waived his right to a preliminary hearing before District Judge Thomas Caulfield on charges of riot-intent to commit felony, conspiracy-riot-intent to commit felony, simple assault-mutual consent fight, disorderly conduct-engage in fighting, obstruction of highways and two counts of conspiracy-disorderly conduct-engage in fighting.
According to a criminal complaint, the charges filed by Swissvale police stem from the large brawl at the intersection of South Braddock and Woodstock avenues on Jan. 8. Police reported that the fight among 40-50 people blocked traffic, causing a traffic jam in the busy intersection. The group failed to disperse despite police orders.
On Jan. 8, police learned that a video of a fight at the same location Jan. 7 was posted on YouTube. Police were able to identify those involved, including Long, through that video.
In other cases from Caulfield's courtroom on Feb. 20:
- Cory Cowherd, 28, of Swissvale waived his right to a preliminary hearing on charges of driving under the influence (general impairment/incapable of driving safely, first offense), driving while operating privileges are suspended or revoked, disorderly conduct/hazardous-physical offense and driving under the influence (highest rate of alcohol, blood alcohol content .16+, first offense. The legal limit is .08. Charges of intentional possession of a controlled substance by a person not registered and driving with no headlights were withdrawn. According to a criminal complaint, a Swissvale police officer on bar closing patrol Dec. 7 in the Noble Street municipal lot observed a silver vehicle driven by Cowherd leaving the lot without its headlights on. After initiating a traffic stop at the intersection of Washington Street and Monongahela Avenue, the officer detected a strong odor of alcohol on Cowherd’s breath and noted that his eyes were bloodshot and glassy. He failed field sobriety tests. A blood alcohol content test was administered and submitted to the Allegheny County Crime Lab for results.
- Lynel J. Barlow, 35, of Garfield waived his right to a preliminary hearing on charges of criminal use of a communication facility, two counts of manufacture, delivery or possesion with intent to manufacture or deliver and intentional possession of a controlled substance by a person not registered. According to a criminal complaint, Swissvale police and the District Attorney's Narcotics Enforcement Task Force conducted a controlled buy from a person who had not yet been identified on Jan. 16 in the 2500 block of Woodstock Avenue. Once the transaction was complete, the vehicle was stopped by Swissvale police for identification purposes. The driver was identified as Barlow and released without further incident.
- Barlow also waived his right to a preliminary hearing on charges of criminal use of a communication facility, intentional possession of a controlled substance by a person not registered and two counts of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or delivery. According to a criminal complaint filed by Swissvale police, an individual purchased a quantity of crack cocaine from Barlow on Jan. 22 during a controlled buy conducted by police. After the transaction was completed, Swissvale officers conducted a traffic stop and took Barlow into custody. Police seized $989 in cash and a cell phone.
- Daniel James Capp, 38, of Monroeville was held for court on charges of driving under the influence (general impairment/incapable of driving safely, third offense), driving under the influence (highest rate of alcohol, blood alcohol level .16+, third offense), obedience to traffic control devices, disregard traffic lane (single), driving at a safe speed, careless driving, reckless driving and driving under the influence (general impairment/incapable of driving safely, first offense). According to a criminal complaint filed by Pennsylvania State Police, Capp was involved in a crash on the Wilkinsburg on ramp in Churchill Borough. The driver of the second car told police Capp's car drifted back into his car. Witnesses told police Capp could hardly stand. Capp fled the scene and his vehicle struck a concrete barrier. He continued on to his Monroeville home. Police tracked the license plate to his home. There, officers detected the aroma of an alcoholic beverage on Capp. According to the complaint, his speech was slurred and his eyes bloodshot. Capp was taken into custody and transported to Forbes Regional Hospital for a blood alcohol content test. Thre result was .174 percent. Police noted the driver's side tire of Capp's car was flat and the rim bent from driving home that way.
- Lance Taylor Haburjak, 19, of Hazelwood waived his right to a preliminary hearing on charges of robbery-inflict threat immediate bodily injury; conspiracy-robbery, inflict threat immediate bodily injury; conspiracy-robbery, threat of immediate serious injury, simple assault and conspiracy-simple assault. According to a criminal complaint, Swissvale police were dispatched to the 7300 block of Denniston Avenue for a report of a robbery with a gun. The victim told police when he got out of his parked car, three men—two white, one black—came from between two homes and approached him. First the victim refused a request for money. He told police when he saw the gun, he gave the men $700 cash. The two white men reportedly hit him and he fell to the ground. They started kicking him and ran off between houses, the complaint states. Police identified Haburjak as a suspect when the victim, whose house was also burglarized on Dec. 17, admitted to arranging a purchase of marijuana from him when an officer became suspicious of the victim being evasive. He is being held in the Allegheny County Jail after being unable to post $10,000 in bail.