Judge rejects bid to reduce charges against ex-officer

PITTSBURGH (AP) A federal judge has rejected a bid to reduce the charges against a fired Pittsburgh police sergeant accused of using excessive force on a drunken fan at a high school football championship game last year.

Forty-seven-year-old Stephen Matakovich is accused of violating the man's rights in the November 2015 encounter at Heinz Field.

U.S. District Court Judge Cathy Bissoon on Tuesday rejected a bid to toss a count of falsifying a report. Defense attorney Tina Miller argued that an obstruction charge required proof that her client knew he would be investigated.

Matakovich said the 19-year-old fan appeared ready to attack, but surveillance video showed him with his hands at his sides and not advancing when he was pushed down and struck.

Matakovich also faces trial in state court next month.

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