Charles Metzgar

Charles Metzgar, an officer with the Pittsburgh Police Department, was shot on May 1, 1898, and died on May 11. The shooting occurred while trying to arrest John Szojak, a “drunken Hungarian,” during a fight at Second Avenue and Greenfield Avenue in Hazelwood.

As in the Weimar and Wiggins cases, Szojak drew a gun while being escorted by Metzgar. The frequency of such occurrences in this era suggests the lower levels of police professional and training that prevailed.

Szojak was convicted of second-degree murder on July 11, 1989, the lesser conviction again being attributed to the defendant’s drunkenness.

Author: Bill Lofquist

I am a sociologist and death penalty scholar at the State University of New York at Geneseo. I am also a Pittsburgh native. My present research focuses on the history of the death penalty in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Pa. This website is dedicated to collecting, analyzing, and sharing information about all Allegheny County cases in which a death sentence was imposed. Please share any questions or comments, errors or omissions, or other matters of interest related to these cases or to the broader history of the death penalty in Allegheny County.

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