Pa. police: Cop pepper-sprayed girlfriend’s son

UNIONTOWN, Pa. — A Pennsylvania state trooper has been placed on unpaid leave and charged with pepper-spraying his girlfriend’s 13-year-old son because the boy stayed in bed instead of going to school.

Trooper Ernest Boatright was charged with child endangerment and harassment, WTAE-TV first reported Tuesday.

Boatright told investigators he had pepper sprayed two cats on an enclosed porch, according to court records, but the boy told investigators that Boatright sprayed the chemical into his room in April. The boy told police the trooper also had sprayed him with the substance before, police said.

The trooper didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment, but his attorney, Matthew Zatko, told The Associated Press Boatright “categorically denies all of the allegations and welcomes the opportunity to defend himself and clear his name.”

Boatright, 48, of Penn Hills, has been a trooper since 1989 and was assigned to the New Stanton barracks, which largely patrols a section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, state police officials said.

The April 19 encounter that prompted the charges occurred at the home the boy shares with Boatright’s girlfriend in Menallen Township, near Uniontown, about 40 miles south of Pittsburgh. That’s where Boatright faces a preliminary hearing Jan. 22.

Fayette County child welfare workers had referred the case to law enforcement. The charges were filed in November, at which time the trooper was suspended, Zatko said.

More in Local News

Turkey talk: Kindergartners explain the Thanksgiving holiday

Our annual pilgrimage led us this year to Pathfinder Kindergarten Center in Everett.

Police locate suspect in Snohomish River after he fled

They used a thermal-imaging camera to locate the man in the water near Dagmars Marina.

Electrical fire on roof of Marysville school extinguished

There was no apparent structural damage to Cascade Elementary School.

As police closed in, 2 heavily armed pot-shop robbers fled

Cops surrounded the place in Mountlake Terrace. The suspects were tracked by dogs and apprehended nearby.

Hiker rescued on Boulder River trail after 15-foot fall

She was reported to have possible leg and rib fractures.

Alleged philanderer attacked with hammer near Everett

His girlfriend had accused him of cheating and allegedly called on another man to confront him.

State waging war with tenacious ivy, an invasive ‘bully’

The public is being asked to help with a study by collecting and sending in samples.

Plans being developed for surplus school land

Two major projects could be built on properties owned by the Edmonds School District.

Most Read