Off-Duty Pittsburgh Officer Pointed Gun Gun at Man During Road Rage Incident

A Pittsburgh police officer denied pointing, or even owning, a silver revolver at another driver during a road rage incident but an internal investigation determined otherwise and police officials have put the officer on administrative leave, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday.

Pittsburgh police said Tuesday night that Officer Robert Carl Kramer is on paid leave based on the findings of an internal review of the incident in Pittsburgh’s Sheraden neighborhood.

Robert Swartzwelder, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1, said Wednesday that he felt he didn’t have enough information to comment.

According to court records, Kramer, 28, has been charged with simple assault. Kramer became an officer in 2014. His base salary in 2016 was $61,380.

A man driving a white Dodge SUV told police that on May 3, when he stopped in a turning lane at the intersection of Chartiers Avenue and Straka Street, a black 2014 Mercedes Benz with tinted windows pulled up alongside him.

The driver of the Mercedes, later identified as Kramer, started to argue with the SUV driver about speeding and reckless driving in a nearby school zone where the speed limit is 15 mph, police said.

Kramer told police internal affairs investigators that the SUV driver was driving erratically and speeding in the area. Kramer accused the SUV driver of starting the argument and acting aggressively, according to the complaint.

The SUV driver told police that Kramer pointed a gun at him. He told investigators he was “looking down the barrel of the silver revolver with a short barrel, with bullets in the chamber.”

Kramer did not verbally threaten him, according to the SUV driver, but he told police he was “in fear of imminent bodily injury or death because of the display of the firearm at him.”

Kramer sped off on Straka Street when the SUV driver asked him to get out of his car.

The SUV driver told police that he was concerned about the man “waving a gun from his car,” and alerted a crossing guard working near Pittsburgh Langley K-8 middle school, who called 911. The incident had already been reported, according to the complaint.

Pittsburgh police checked the license plate of the black Mercedes and learned it belonged to Kramer.

A police detective interviewed Kramer who said the SUV driver who filed the complaint was driving erratically and speeding in a school zone.

Kramer denied owning the silver revolver.

He told police that when the SUV driver pulled up, he was speaking on a silver cell phone and motioned to the motorist to keep moving.

But police found a sales record showing that Kramer bought a stainless steel Smith & Wesson revolver in 2013. Kramer used the same weapon to qualify for police training the same year, according to police records.

Investigators were granted a search warrant on July 31 and met Kramer at the Zone 1 police station in the North Side. Kramer agreed to surrender his Smith & Wesson revolver, which was at his home.

Police and Kramer went to Kramer’s home, where police confiscated the gun, noting it was loaded, according to the complaint.