Editorial: State Police Return To Their Roots As The Yellow Dogs Resurface

pa-crest

Sheriff George David has been placed on house arrest until his trial in July. The judge has ordered his personal arsenal of approximately 700 firearms be removed from his property.

Townspeople once referred to them as the Yellow Dogs; groups of private police forces established by the Pennsylvania Legislature in the 1800s. Existing under the elected County Sheriffs in Pennsylvania, the “Coal and Iron Police” became infamous.

Although they had police powers bestowed upon them by the state, the Yellow Dogs were funded solely by private corporations. While their official purpose was to protect properties owned by the large mineral companies, they were in practice a corrupt bunch that helped to break up strikes, attack unionized labor leaders, and serve as muscle for unscrupulous businessmen. They were a group largely comprised of hoodlums who intimidated and terrorized all who dared to question their purpose or tactics.

Local police and Sheriffs offices across the state were complicit in many of the transgressions by these Yellow Dogs, often refusing to enforce the law equally and justly.

In 1905, following a particularly brutal period of the Coal and Iron Police, then Governor Samuel Pennypacker decided it was time for a statewide law enforcement organization to be established — A group of well trained and honorable men who would be funded by taxpayers to serve public, rather than private, interests. The Pennsylvania State Police was born.

It would take twenty-five more years, and another series of brutal assaults, before the Yellow Dogs were officially disbanded in Pennsylvania. It would take nearly 100 years for them to resurface in ad hoc fashion right here in Beaver County.

Over the past two years I have spent countless hours reporting on previously untold stories of corruption and brutality which have arisen in our county under the leadership of now Sheriff George David. While the names have changed along with the times, many of these stories remain the same. From his time in the Aliquippa Police Department, to his days as Chief of Security at the Beaver County Jail, and now as the elected Sheriff, these stories have repeated themselves time and time again. They are stories of pseudo law enforcement patrolling and protecting the private interests of business tycoons, of those with badges acting as muscle for organized crime, of power being used to crush dissent, of violent acts becoming tools to terrorize any who question their purpose or tactics.

Once again we see local authorities refusing to enforce laws, county detectives failing to take reports of abuse, judges declining to dole out punishments to the corrupt, and a District Attorney who refuses to enforce the law equally and justly. And as they first did over 100 hundred years ago, we again see the Pennsylvania State Police stepping in to right the wrongs that others refuse to even acknowledge.

Pennsylvania State Police Corporals Joseph Olayer and Daniel Mosura were joined by over a dozen of their fellow soldiers of the law inside of the Beaver County Courthouse today. As part of a hearing in a criminal case being prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Laurel Brandstetter, these men have once again helped to expose the misdeeds of Sheriff David, and the lies of those still seeking to protect a band of modern-day Yellow Dogs he has amassed under his command.

There are many good and decent Clerks and Deputies of the Sheriff’s Office who will return to work with far less trepidation tomorrow because this group of honorable men and women served them well today. I continue to be thankful for these strangers who step in front of us when danger arises, who encourage us to follow behind until our journey becomes safe once again.

See Also: Editorial: A Muckraker’s Thoughts On The Thin Blue Line

Note: In the interest of full disclosure, this reporter is a named victim in criminal charges filed against Sheriff George David by the Pennsylvania State Police.

 

40 comments

  1. SpeakTheTruthToo

    After reading this one, I can’t wait for the real story.

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  2. I wondered about the awesome State Police presence there. Now, it makes sense, as you put it in perspective, John Paul. It was obvious that a statement/decision/action was being made, and, who was in control. From that to the prosecutor’s palpable frustration with the chronic misbehavior/flaunting of the law of the Sheriff, to the judge’s deliberate reasoning, seriousness and decisions, it was obvious that matters are now being taken very seriously. it was a very professional handling of a very difficult situation, and the result was a major step toward a final resolution of how much this Sheriff can get away with. I have some hope now because of it.

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  3. This Sheriff is a piece of Shit! And the crooked judge who gave him house arrest for violating his Bond!!!!!!!!!

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  4. He definitely has brought shame to the office and to the county

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  5. I had read on one of the local news stations that along with the house arrest, he had to surrender his collection of approximately 700 firearms….Um, I may be mistaken, but I thought that a condition of his bond was that he had to turn over his weapons when he was approved to be released on bond?? So, who the hell needs 700 firearms, and why did he have possession of said arsenal???

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    • I question the number of guns he possesses. It’s rare for even a gun shop to carry that many firearms. Also, when he stated to the judge that some may be worth $30,000 to $40,000 apiece, it stretched credibility. Better yet to wonder why his attorney offered to store the guns, an extreme action with serious consequences for the attorney — loss of license — if it doesn’t work out. If the State Police inventoried them and ran across some questionable weapons, it could lead to further trouble for David. What if he didn’t register them all, or even has possession of a gun used in a crime, or taken from evidence or confiscation bins? And, where in heck did he get the money to buy so many? Scrutiny of those weapons is something David would avoid at any cost, and it has nothing to do with getting them lost, broken or scratched. 

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      • How many guns were at Waco?

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      • Hell, my uncle plays George Washington in reenactments every year and in the 4th of July parades, and he has firearms that are correct to the time period that aren’t worth that much…..I think he was seriously overstating worth, perhaps he was setting the stage for an insurance claim in the future, when those extravagantly priced weapons either end up damaged or disappear all together….we shall see, I guess.

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  6. It gos a lot deeper than the Sheriff’s Office organized crime has run deep in Beaver County. for a long time..

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  7. Let’s see how long it takes Georgie to sue the county claiming that they damaged some of the guns that are worth the most money….it’s refreshing to see that the state police don’t get involved in local politics and can objectively do their jobs.  Unfortunately, when election time rolls around the majority of people in this county will be too stupid to recall all of the players who refused to do the jobs that they were elected to do and chose instead to play the politics game and will pull the lever next to those names.   If  ANY of these poor excuses for a professional are re-elected then those who are responsible for voting them into office have absolutely no right to complain.

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  8. I guarantee that if any normal law-abiding citizen had over 700 firearms, The ATF would be kicking down your door.

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  9. One of the defining moments of the hearing was watching Fratangeli lie (my opinion) to the judge while on the stand. He said that he held the gun the whole time, and George David only reached over to rack the shotgun while Fratangeli held it, contradicting other Deputy testimony about the Sheriff holding a gun under his arm. The Sheriff’s toady tried to protect him once again, but he did not fool the judge, who did not believe the proposed room body contortions that allowed the Sheriff’s racking of the gun. The judge later reflected out loud on Fratangeli’s prior questionable testimony and writing of a false police report at the Sheriff’s request. Look at this Youtube video about the handling and racking of a shotgun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNqmYnSvJns

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  10. Realizing that any post invites replies from anyone, it would nonetheless be useful to understand the exact terms of house arrest, coming from someone actually at the hearing yesterday.
    What are the restrictions on the sheriff, who is responsible for the monitoring, and what is the reporting mechanism if the sheriff violates the terms of house arrest?  I’d  like to know if there is a specific prohibition keeping the sheriff out of the courthouse?
    This mornings Trib article indicated that the sheriff could go to church, go to his doctors appointments, and visit a sick relative.  Are we to understand that to be the limits outside his home?  It seems almost certain given past behavior that the sheriff will test whatever conditions have been placed on him.  An informed public might actually be useful in ensuring that the terms of the house arrest are followed.   

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    • @eddiemerchant: I did not attend the hearing to report on it, but I did take some notes. As the judge dictated the court order, he included these points (to the best of my ability to interpret them): 1. House arrest; 2. Electronic monitoring by an independent company — the ankle bracelet was to be fitted after the hearing; 3. Confinement to his Aliquippa house and the 67 acres of the Sheriff’s own property; 4. Not leaving the property, except for church, medical appointments and visits to his ailing father-in-law, with notification to the monitors before any of these occurs; 5. Surrender all firearms on his person and on his property, including placing his wife’s personal gun in a safe place outside of the house and any guns at his father-in-law’s taken out as well, out of his reach; 6. All weapons to be placed in storage by his attorney by the end of the day, 4/18/2014, and monitored by the State Police during removal; 7. No going to the Courthouse; 8. Courthouse staff are permitted to go to his house for business purposes; 9. Deputy Alstatt to be in charge of Sheriff’s office.  If these need to be refined, I invite anyone to do so. 

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      • @Raven..Great post!!..& your interpretation is pretty right on!! Chief Alstadtt has pretty much been in charge of the SO for quite some time since the Sheriff has been restrained/restricted from his duties, and we think he’s doing a fine job! Maybe everyone in his office, as well as the Courthouse, will have a little peace until his trial!

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      • SpeakTheTruthToo

        Any mention of suspended from duties without pay?

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  11. I am very happy that he is somewhat confined. But 67 acres….I could do that. I think all the serial numbers should be checked on all of his firearms that are turned in. I’m not saying some have a history but…….

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    • I’d be willing to bet the farm that some have history! That is a very smart idea, to check the numbers!

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  12. he should be behind bars

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  13. Well here we go again, Georgie and Fratangeli. One would think that Johnnie boy learned his lesson by now but look who his mentor is. Lying to a judge again, come on John Joe. You brag about being affliated with police work since the ..90′s but you don’t know how to work the pump on a shotgun, yeah ! You should have been gone long ago but the gutless D.A. seeme to be afraid of you. Afraid of a little rat? I can’t get it. Back to David, anyone with a bird brain can see that this nut is obsessed with guns and power. Finally someone had the balls (out of this county) to do something positive ! It brings warmth to my heart that this raving lunatic has a anklett on but it should be around his neck. Stay home now like the harmless little dog that you are !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  14. What gets me EVERY TIME, is that if this were any of us, here on this board, that had violated the terms of the bond over and over and over, we sure as shit wouldn’t be enjoying any 67 acres and our own house, we’d be enjoying the hospitality of the BCJ the FIRST TIME we violated bond. Not the second, or the third, but most certainly the first. Double standards everywhere, not just in our county, but in the entire country as a whole.

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  15. So no one seems to think that our sheriff acquired all of his 700 guns legally?  That alone says something about the reputation of our sheriff.

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  16. what an asshole story teller … go back and smoke your crack pipe

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    • And pray tell, who would be the “asshole story teller”? If you don’t like what is being said here, then why do you waste your time clicking the link, and reading the article, and then wasting just a little more time with your oh-so-witty comment? Is it meant to provoke? Piss off the masses? Sorry sir, but if that is what you intended, you’ve fallen very short of your goals…..

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    • @beaver1: Take more time for your comments next time. It’s too hard to think fast in the fall from your stool at Zooky’s. 

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  17. This article is a very important one, well researched and well written. It helps me to put in perspective a hard-to-define impression I had when I saw ten State Troopers standing at the courtroom doorway before the trial, and then sitting quietly as a group and as a commanding presence during the hearing. They were there as law enforcement professionals ready to be called upon, and there was no question in my mind that there is an ultimate authority available to deal with the corruption in this county. It was impressive and reassuring, and thanks for focusing on it, John Paul.

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  18. Who is acting Sheriff  now that George is on house arrest ?

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  19. I know for a fact that a lot of Georgie’s guns were involved in crimes. There’s at least two Thompson sub-machine guns that won’t be found in his collection. A lot were confiscated when he worked in Aliquippa. Shouldn’t the A.T.F. be intrested in this ?

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    • Thinking on that, 700 firearms, you would think that the ATF would be interested…..I’m curious as to why they are not. If a common individual had possession of that many guns, you would think that the alphabet soup departments of the federal government would be taking notice, and investigating…wonder why they aren’t?

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  20. All of his guns should be sold and the money given to all the victims of his abuse throughout his career of “law enforcement”.

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  21. George David: you are a lying pussy. At least Fratangeli can suckle Georgie’s balls in private in the 60+ acres…

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  22. Senior Deputy Attorney General Laurel Brandstetter: Hang in there. When George David tried to dictate the terms of his own house arrest to the judge — my god, what audacity — you bit the bullet and did not leap over the table to grab him by the lapels. Good judgement. And, when David’s attorney droned on with the judge in a fifteen minute confab to find loopholes for the terms of the house arrest, you maintained your cool and silence. Admirable. Sure, they are stonewalling, but hopefully, this hearing will be the last before the trial, and you won’t have to be repeatedly coming back to set things right. Your efforts are much appreciated, and it seems that there will some eventual action by the court that will deliver justice. George David has blown his credibility, which he had little, if any, of, and has exhausted the patience of the court. Even the judge regards him as arrogantly defiant, irresponsible and untrustworthy, a key obstacle to his getting probation in the likely event of a conviction. So, it’s working, and you are getting to the bottom of the problem. Thanks. 

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  23. I remember years ago out at Brady’s run day before first day of trout David made us pick up our firewood and haul all of the wood back to the truck. If we didn’t he was going to cite us for littering. He took a lot of fun away from a lot of fisherman that year. Well Mr. David karma finally taking a tool on your Prick ass !

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