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2 Constables Ordered To Stand Trial On Assault Charges

MUNHALL (KDKA) -- The Allegheny County District Attorney's Office plans to eventually file motions to remove two constables from their jobs.

Both were ordered to stand trial Wednesday on charges including simple assault, reckless endangerment, official oppression and conspiracy.

At a hearing before District Judge Thomas Torkowsky in Munhall, Esther Peyton was tearful when she testified about when two constables came to her home last October with an arrest warrant for a parking ticket.

Before it ended she says she was dragged out of her home, by her legs, taken downtown and suffered a fracture to her hand.

Her daughter, Kimberly, testified she wrote out a check for $1,500 trying to settle the case, but the constables refused it.

Turns out, all that was owed was $50 plus another $50 in constable costs.

But Peyton, when first confronted by the constables, told them Esther Peyton wasn't there. And through cross examination by defense lawyers, Constables Christian Constantini and Michael Lowman implied she resisted and kicked one of them as she was being led away.

A detective with the District Attorney's Office though testified that constables, when handling a summary warrant are supposed to accept the court costs, if offered, rather than affecting an arrest.

Both constables will stand trial.

After the hearing, both defendants talked with reporters, and while not getting into specifics of the case, said it has all had an impact on their lives.

"No one has heard our side," said Lowman. "They've only heard one side of the story, which I don't agree with at all, obviously."

"Everywhere I go people know who I am, people ask me about it," Constantini said. "I get funny looks when I go out. I try not to go a lot of places because of this. The court of public opinion is pretty powerful in this area."

Their attorneys think there's inconsistency in the testimonies of Peyton and her daughter.

"We had a lot of great evidence that's taken down, a lot of contradictory statements that we're really encouraged about, and we'll go back to the drawing board and prepare for trial," said defense attorney Blaine Jones.

"I think that there is some conflict in their testimony among the Commonwealth's witnesses," said defense attorney Al Burke, "and I think it certainly challenges their sense of credibility."

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