UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A western Pennsylvania state trooper is on unpaid leave and faces criminal charges for allegedly pepper spraying his girlfriend's son when the 13-year-old stayed in bed instead of going to school.
WTAE-TV (http://bit.ly/JrCMyL ) reports Trooper Ernest Boatright faces a Jan. 22 preliminary hearing on charges of child endangerment and harassment.
According to court records, Boatright told investigators he had pepper sprayed two cats on an enclosed porch, but the boy tells police Boatright sprayed the chemical into his room in April. The boy told police he knows it was pepper spray because he contends the trooper had sprayed him with the substance before.
Boatright didn't immediately return a call for comment Tuesday. His attorney says Boatright "vehemently denies the charges."
Boatright is from Penn Hills. The incident allegedly occurred in Menallen Township, Fayette County.
Information from: WTAE-TV, http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com