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Police accuse Cranmer of attacking son

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

By Jonathan D. Silver, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Former Allegheny County Commissioner Bob Cranmer was arrested Sunday night by Brentwood police and charged with simple assault after a domestic dispute with his son.

A police affidavit said officers were told by Cranmer's youngest son, Charles, that Cranmer assaulted his oldest son, Bob Jr., 18, known as Bobby.

Cranmer yesterday acknowledged that he was involved in a brawl with his son but claimed he was attacked.

Cranmer said his son has bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, making him prone to extreme mood swings and fits of rage.

"I was defending myself from him," Cranmer, 47, said. "The situation was out of control."

Cranmer said he punched his son once in the face, while he was pummeled at least two dozen times.

Cranmer said Charles, 14, was awakened by the ruckus and called 911 during the melee around 11:30 p.m.

According to the affidavit written by Officer Christian Heynes, Bob Jr. had wounds to his hands, arms, back and face and was "in a state of semiconsciousness to the degree that he could not reply to my questioning."

Police at the house spoke with Cranmer's son, Charles, and his wife, Lesa.

According to their statements, Cranmer assaulted his son, the affidavit said.

Lesa Cranmer declined comment yesterday, saying she was busy attending to funeral arrangements for Cranmer's aunt.

Bob Jr. was examined by Brentwood paramedics and taken to Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Jefferson Hills.

Police Chief Robert Butelli could not be reached for comment.

Cranmer was arraigned in Night Court by Senior District Justice Leonard Boehm and released on his own recognizance yesterday morning from the Allegheny County Jail.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday before Baldwin Borough District Justice John Bova.

Jonathan D. Silver can be reached at or 412-263-1962.

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