After allegedly pointing a loaded automatic rifle, safety off, at a Pennsylvania State Trooper Sunday night, a Butler County man Aggravated Assault charges. The Kittanning state police report the incident happened shortly after 11:30 pm along the 300 block of Star Grille Road, in Winfield Township, Butler County. The troopers , from the Kittanning Station, were dispatched at 12:07 a.m. Monday morning to investigate an assault against two uniformed troopers from the Butler station located at 361 Star Grille Road near the city of Butler. That is the address of Richard W. and Bridget Gniewkowski.
According to a news release from the Kittanning Troopers, the Butler troopers were dispatched to the Gniewkowski residence for a burglar alarm. As the Butler troopers arrived they checked the back door and confirmed it was secure, then proceeded around to the front door to make contact with the homeowner. One of the Butler Troopers knocked on the door while the other watched the home through a sliding glass door. That's when the trooper observing the residence through the sliding door saw a man pointing a black rifle directly at him through the sliding glass door. The trooper immediately alerted his partner and both withdrew their service weapons and announced themselves as Pennsylvania State Police. When they ordered the man inside with the rifle to drop his gun, he responded with profanity and refused. The troopers continued to verbally identify themselves and ordered the man to drop his weapon. Both troopers took evasive action, one however, observing the man with the gun inside the residence was still pointing the gun at him through the sliding glass door. While continuing to verbally indentify themselves and ordering the man to drop his weapon, one of the troopers maneuvered to the patrol vehicle and activated the siren and emergency lights. The trooper then switched on the Public Address system and again ordered the subject to drop the weapon and come out of the residence with his hands up. Shortly after , the subject exited through the back door with his hands up and proceeded to follow verbal commands before being taken into custody.
Police say Richard W. Gniewkowski, 53, was identified as the homeowner and appeared to be severely impaired, slurring his speech and unable to formulate coherent sentences. An AR-15 style assault weapon was found to be loaded with the safety in the off position. There were no injuries reported. Gniewkowski is charged with two counts of Aggravated Assault, Simple Assault, Recklessly Endangering Another Person and Disorderly Conduct. Charges were filed in District Court. A Preliminary Hearing is set for Wednesday April 19th before Magisterial District Court Judge Sue Haggerty at 9 a.m. Until then Gniewkowski is lodged in Butler County Prison, unable to post bond set at $25,000 straight. In all Gniewskowski is charged with 8 criminal acts: two felonies, four misdemeanors and two summary charges. He is not yet represented by an attorney.