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Local Political Official Arraigned On Aggravated Assault Charges

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A local politician was arraigned this morning after being taken into custody in connection with the alleged assault of the owner of a local bar over the weekend.

Byron Tielsch, 71, is an Allegheny County Democratic Committeeman from Penn Hills.

Authorities say he is facing charges of aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy and stalking.

According to the criminal complaint, police say Tielsch is accused of allegedly harassing the owner of Alchemy N' Ale in Lawrenceville.

In the criminal complaint, police report that the owner of the bar, David Santa, was set to testify against Tielsch next month for a prior harassment complaint, and told authorities that he is in fear for his life.

Police state that Tielsch and a man named Mario Devito, are accused of going into the bar swinging a two-by-four at Santa and another man last weekend. Santa called police to report the alleged assault. According to the Post-Gazette, he was struck in the hands while blocking his face during the incident.

The criminal complaint states that the problems started in May, the same time Alchemy N' Ale was preparing for their grand opening.

There were community concerns, even quoted in the Post-Gazette, about Santa's past involvement in the night club business. It appears that Tielsch led the fight against the opening of the bar, even recently sending a letter to several Lawrenceville businesses.

Tielsch was arraigned this morning and his bond was set at $50,000.

KDKA's Heather Abraham reports that the Allegheny County Democratic Committeeman chairperson said while the charges are serious, Tielsch is innocent until proven guilty.

Tielsch's son was convicted in 2002 in connection with the death of rabbinical student, Neal Rosenblum, in Squirrel Hill in 1986.

Allegheny County Democratic Committee
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