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Three Men Waive Preliminary Hearings on Swissvale Brawl Charges

The three men were involved in the two large brawls on Jan. 7 and 8 at the intersection of South Braddock and Woodstock avenues.

Three men involved in the large brawls that erupted after a school bus discharged students at the corner of Woodstock and South Braddock avenues in Swissvale on Jan. 7 and 8 waived their right to preliminary hearings before District Judge Thomas Caulfield in his Forest Hills courtroom on Jan. 30.

The three—Dawand Lavelle Hudson, Richard B. McKnight and Aquan McEachern—face formal arraignments in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court on March 19 at 11 a.m. Swissvale police filed the charges.

According to a criminal complaint filed by Swissvale police, officers were dispatched to a large fight at the intersection at 2:20 p.m. Jan. 7. Upon their arrival, the crowd had dispersed.

Five Swissvale officers were dispatched to the same intersection at 2:24 p.m. on the following day, Jan. 8, where they found 40 to 50 people engaged in a brawl. The crowd was blocking traffic in the busy intersection, causing a public annoyance and alarm, the complaint stated. A police officer ordered the crowd to disperse, but they did not do so.

At 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, police learned that a video of the Monday fight had been uploaded to YouTube. Swissvale police and school officials identified all the people captured on the video. According to the criminal complaint, all the participants observed were intentionally, knowingly or recklessly kicking, striking or subjecting others to contact/harm or a fear of being harmed. Sidewalks were obstructed and at least one vehicle sustained multiple dents.

Dawand Lavelle Hudson, 19, of Swissvale faces charges of riot-intent to commit felony, conspiracy-riot-intent to commit felony, simple assault-mutual consent fight, disorderly conduct-engage in fighting, obstruction highways and two counts of conspiracy-simple assault-mutual consent fight.

Hudson was identified on the video as engaging in a mutual fight on Jan. 7.

Richard B. McKnight, 48, of Rankin faces charges of riot-intent to commit felony, conspiracy-riot-intent to commit felony, simple assault-mutual consent fight, conspiracy-simple assault-mutual consent fight and disorderly conduct-hazardous/physical offense.

McKnight was also identified on the video attempting to pull a male juvenile off his son. While he was pulling at the juvenile, another man engaged McKnight by striking him. Then, according to the criminal complaint, McKnight and another man engaged in a fist fight. A second juvenile tackled the man fighting McKnight but, instead of retreating, McKnight re-engaged the man on the ground, striking him with a closed fist.

Aquan McEachern, 18, of Braddock faces two counts of conspiracy-disorderly conduct engage in fighting, and single counts of riot-intent to commit felony, disorderly conduct-engage in fighting and criminal mischief-damage property.

McEachern was among those detained by police. He was bleeding from his face and breathing heavily. McEachern admitted to being involved but said he had been jumped. Because he is a Woodland Hills student from Braddock, he was not permitted to be at that bus stop. According to school policy, he had no legitimate reason to be present at the bus stop as he lives in Braddock.

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