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UPDATED: Man Claiming Allegiance to Occupy Pittsburgh Crashes Stolen SUV Through PNC Building


UPDATE: WTAE reports that details of the original story are contradicted by the official police report:

Sources told Channel 4 Action News that, as the driver left the crash scene Tuesday afternoon, he told someone that he was with Occupy Pittsburgh and said there might be an explosive device inside the vehicle. But police said they’ve determined none of that to be true. They said McGee suffered a medical problem that gave him a coughing fit which caused him to lose control of the vehicle.

“There was speculation. We certainly wanted to check into that, in the current climate of what’s going on at the camp in downtown Pittsburgh, but we have no information — no evidence whatsoever — to relate this to Occupy Pittsburgh,” Lt. Kevin Kraus said.

More details here and here. The original post continues below:

A middle-aged man claiming to be with Occupy Pittsburgh has turned himself in to authorities after allegedly driving a stolen sport utility vehicle up the front steps and crashing it into the front entrance of a downtown PNC Firstside Center building yesterday afternoon. Richard McGee, 67, called Allegheny County Sheriff William P. Mullen today after hearing police wanted to speak with him about the incident, then showed up at the sheriff`s office in the Allegheny County Courthouse to turn himself in.

More images from WTAE

From WTAE in Pittsburgh:

Pittsburgh police are questioning a man who they think drove an SUV up the front steps of the downtown PNC Firstside Center on purpose and hit the entrance of the building during work hours.  […]

Sources told Channel 4 Action News that, as the driver of the Hyundai Santa Fe fled the crash scene Tuesday afternoon, he claimed to be with Occupy Pittsburgh and said there might be an explosive device inside the vehicle.

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The incident prompted police to call a bomb squad unit to investigate. WTAE reports that no explosives were found.

Employees in the building indicated that there is also a child care facility on the premises. A PNC spokeswoman said that the facility has since been moved to the other side of the building.

Only a handful of Occupy protesters remained at their camp nearby at the BNY Mellon Green lawn after an Allegheny County Judge ordered the protesters to be out of the park by Monday. Most left voluntarily, but just under a dozen remained on Monday, prompting the judge to issue an emergency order instructing police to remove lingering Occupy campers from the property. They told Channel 4 Action News that “they had no knowledge of the PNC crash and were not involved with it.”

Ironically, the PNC Firstside Center building is hailed by labor unions and environmentalists in the Blue Green Alliance coalition as a model for collaborative environmentally friendly development. The PNC Firstside Center building is Leed Silver Certified and is one of over 40 certified green buildings PNC owns. WTAE reported in 2008 that this number was more than any other corporation in the world.

There are no further details available at this time as to whether or not McGee’s claim to be with Occupy Pittsburgh is true. Police indicate that charges against him will include recklessly endangering another person and driving without a license.

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