Braddock Police Chief Guy Collins was arrested for allegedly assaulting his young girlfriend. He was charged by Pittsburgh Police with a misdemeanor count of simple assault, court documents show.
Collins, who is 59, is the police chief in Braddock, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania neighborhood. He and his 20-year-old girlfriend, who has not been identified, were arguing about their child when he allegedly hit her in the face, according to KDKA.
Collins has had a short but tumultuous reign as the official chief of the Braddock Police Department. He was voted into the office in March and quickly accused the borough council president of a personal vendetta, according to WTAE. He previously worked as the acting chief, and has been with the department since 2008, according to PublicSource.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Guy Collins Allegedly Threw a Chair at his Girlfriend & Hit Her in the Face
Braddock Police Chief Guy Collins was arrested by Pittsburgh Police after they were called to a house for a report of domestic violence Saturday, November 2, 2019. Collins’ 20-year-old girlfriend told the responding police officers they were fighting when he hit her. Police told KDKA she had a small cut on her lip, which was swollen and bleeding.
The woman also told police he grabbed her by the neck, but did not choke her, and threw a chair at her. She said he did not hit her when he threw the chair. Police said there were no marks on the woman’s throat. When Collins was questioned by police, he referred to the incident as a “tussle.” He said he “shoved” her to prevent her from hitting him, KDKA reported.
The alleged assault happened at the Centre Avenue house Collins and his girlfriend share, according to WPXI. The 911 call came in at 12:15 a.m. Friday. She locked herself in a bathroom to make the 911 call.
KDKA reported a dispatcher heard a woman identified as Octavia Price shouting “get out of my face” and “don’t put your hands on me” during the 911 call.
Collins was charged with simple assault by Pittsburgh Police, according to his docket sheet. He was arraigned Saturday morning by Magisterial District Judge Tara Smith. He was released on non-monetary bail conditions. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for November 12.
Braddock Mayor Chardae Jones released a statement to WTAE, which said, “I am aware of the incident that took place this morning. As the incident is currently under investigation Braddock Borough is gathering all the facts to ensure the right actions are taken. Braddock Borough stands against domestic violence and strives to protect and serve the community as a whole.”
2. Guy Collins Officially Became the Police Chief in Braddock Less than 9 Months Ago & Previously Worked as Acting Chief
Guy Collins has officially been the police chief in Braddock for less than nine months. The Braddock Borough Council voted him into his role in a 5 to 1 vote March 12, 2019, according to WTAE. Collins quickly pointed fingers at the lone dissenting voter – Borough Council President Tina Doose.
He called the news channel accusing her of “official oppression,” which is a crime in Pennsylvania involving abuse of power, such as a police officer conducting an unlawful search or arrest. The charge can also apply to public servants or government officials leveraging a person to reveal information, according to the Pennsylvania Crime Code.
“It’s a personal thing between her. She’s let it be known among council. She doesn’t like me,” Collins said.
Before he was officially named the department’s chief, he worked as the acting chief, according to PublicSource. He worked part time for the department briefly more than 20 years ago. Much of his career was spent with the Pittsburgh Housing Authority Police. That department disbanded in 2008, and Collins returned to the Braddock Police Department.
Collins was working part time and limited to 32 hours per week, according to The Incline.
3. Guy Collins Was Investigated for Sexual Harassment, But Never Charged
Braddock Borough Police Chief was investigated for sexual harassment, but did not face charges, according to WTAE. He attributed the accusation to a personal vendetta between himself and Borough Council President Tina Doose. The woman he was accused of harassing was Doose’s 21-year-old daughter, who was an intern in Braddock. Collins told the news station he only complimented the woman’s dress. He said the investigation was mishandled and Doose was “out to get him.”
Doose denied having any personal problems with Collins, saying she voted against Collins’ nomination as chief based on facts, not feelings.
“I have no vendetta against him. My decision has been based on his conduct and his ability to perform the job,” Doose said.
He was also accused of kissing a borough employee on borough property. Again, no charges were filed against him.
“Doose said her largest concern was about Collins’ ability to carry out the administrative duties required by the chief role,” WTAE reported. “She said Collins admitted that another police department member carried out the administrative duties for him previously. She said that person confirmed that they were carrying out the duties, not Collins.”
4. Collins Has Faced Ridicule in the Past for his Relationship With a Young Woman
Guy Collins has faced criticism in the past for dating a young woman. In March 2019, borough officials questioned his relationship with an 18-year-old woman who works in the borough offices, according to WTAE.
“[Borough Council President Tina] Doose said she felt the chief’s relationship with an 18-year-old woman working in the borough offices reflected poorly,” WTAE reported. “Collins did not deny the relationship. In fact, he said he lives with the woman now and that she is his fiancee. He said they have a baby together, who they are now raising. His fiancee and their baby were both present during the interview Thursday.”
“We have a child and everything. You can see how we’re living. It’s something that happened and I’m honoring that, and that’s where we’re at,” Collins said.
It was not clear whether the woman was the same person he is accused of assaulting. Reports said the woman he allegedly assaulted is 20.
5. Braddock Mayor Said She Planned to Revitalize Town, Starting With the Police Department
Braddock Mayor Chardae Jones spoke with The Incline in March 2019, shortly after Collins was officially named chief, about her plans to revitalize her Pittsburgh neighborhood. Her plans began with making changes in the police department.
Jones was preceded as Braddock’s mayor by John Fetterman, who is now Pennsylvania’s Lieutenant Governor.
“She’s plotting a public survey to determine how the local police force is viewed by the borough’s roughly 2,000 residents — a benchmark or data point for future reference, she explained,” The Incline reported. “She also plans to survey the police to see how they view their jobs and where departmental efficiencies may be lacking or more policies and guidelines needed.”
She said she also planned to review the department’s code of conduct, if one existed.
Collins spoke with PublicSource about the importance of community policing in Braddock. Speaking with residents casually and developing a relationship is key, he said.
“I don’t want you to be out there, walking around with a RoboCop mentality,” Collins told the news outlet. “It’s not necessary.”