Morrisville Borough Council has suspended a local officer with pay for allegedly using police resources to harass a resident. The body voted on the measure unanimously after an executive session at Monday night’s meeting.
Cpl. Michael Pitcher, 40, is a police officer who has served Morrisville and the surrounding area for 12 years. Throughout his career, Pitcher has made headlines for jumping in front of a stolen vehicle to stop a thief and enduring electrical burns during a drug investigation.
But now Pitcher faces charges of making terrorist threats, harassment, and unlawful use of a computer. A resident has accused the senior cop of using a police database to target him in his own home.
“You better have cameras at your house, as I will be destroying your property, especially your Porsche,” Pitcher allegedly told the man, according to an affidavit.
Those are the words the victim says Pitcher told him over the phone in early April. The man says he was driving too slowly with Pitcher in the vehicle behind him.
However, Pitcher has a different side to the story. The officer claims he used the database to issue a citation. Additionally, Pitcher claims the phone call was much different in tone and content; he made the call to warn the driver driving too slowly would be a danger to himself, and the resident would “destroy their vehicle if they kept driving in such a manner.”
Meanwhile, investigators in Lower Makefield say Pitcher used a spoofing program to generate a fake phone number for the call.
Morrisville Borough Solicitor Randall C. Flager clarified why Pitcher is on paid suspension at Monday night’s meeting.
“There are specific due process rights that a police officer has, even when accused of a crime,” Flager said, citing the Confidence in Law Enforcement Act. “In our system, even though you’re accused, you’re still presumed innocent.”
Flager also said Council will wait until Pitcher sees due process to take further action on his employment status.
Pitcher was released on $5,000 unsecured bond last Thursday.