A Pittsburgh police detective with a history of accusations on his record was filmed during another apparent outburst on Sunday, yelling at bystanders and allegedly tazing a man who was trying to leave a local bar.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette posted video early Monday morning of Detective Frank Rende yelling, “Mind your own freakin’ business” at bystanders before taking out his taser and waving Mark Keyser Jr. away from the bar on Saturday.
Rende, who was working an off-duty security detail at the bar, said in a criminal complaint that a manager asked him to remove Keyser from the bar. When Keyser refused repeated warnings to leave, Rende said, he threatened to use his taser against him, to which Keyser allegedly replied, “Go ahead.”
The newspaper reported that Rende has been accused of conduct unbecoming an officer more than a dozen times during his career, including an accusation in 1999 of engaging in sexual activity with a woman after responding to her call for police assistance during his shift.
The witness who shot the video, Sam Urick, told the newspaper he began filming the encounter out of concern over Keyser being outnumbered by police. He said that when one officer asked him, “Is that gonna be evidence?,” it confirmed his instincts.
“I thought if he is nervous about taping, maybe I should keep taping,” Urick said.”
In the video, Rende can be seen pointing at one person and saying, “Now you want to apologize? Then shut your mouth when the police are doing something” before walking toward Keyser. Rende is seen pointing the taser at Keyser as he was leaving the scene, at which point he falls to the ground.
The officer said in an affadavit he held the taser to Keyser’s neck but did not release the charge. He also said he was willing to have the device tested to prove it had not been used.
Elizabeth Pittinger, director of the city’s Citizen Police Review Board, told the newspaper that after seeing Urick’s video, she thought Keyser was obeying the order to disperse when Rende made his way toward him.
“I don’t know why the officer pursued him,” Pittinger said. “That’s totally inappropriate.”
“Am I under arrest?” Keyser asked as more officers approached.
“I’ve had about enough of you and your (expletive) act,” Rende tells Keyser. “Shut the (expletive) up. You can’t act a human being, huh? You’re a clown.”
“I tried to leave,” Keyser says. “You pushed me over.”
Rende then appears to notice Urick, telling him, “Take a walk, dude, you’re not going in either. Get out of here. Get out of here.”
Watch video of Rende’s encounter with Keyser, posted by the Post-Gazette on Monday, below.