Ravenstahl vs. Robocop

Taser-toting police officer Frank Rende's latest meltdown causes Mayor Ravenstahl to act human for once.

Prior to dropping his reelection bid, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl spent the last six years sounding exactly like a lifetime politician. It was as if someone uploaded PoliticoSpeak 2.0 directly to his brain and deleted every human-sounding phrase from his vocabulary.

"He and I" became "myself and other individuals."

"I'm not happy with this and we're going to fix it" became "I'm certainly displeased with the developments in this scenario and myself and other individuals like myself will see that it comes to an appropriate resolution."

Just ... what?!

Never one to rock the boat — likely for fear he would turn the good ole boys' establishment against him and his political ambitions — Ravenstahl became like every other politician. Timid. Politically correct to a fault. Cautious. Needlessly verbose.



However, now that he's chosen (or has been forced) to shutter his re-election campaign, the new Luke Ravenstahl has found his inner Chuck Norris, and it's a thing of beauty.

Take the case of Pittsburgh police officer Frank Rende.

Frank Rende has quite a history here in Pittsburgh, and "illustrious" isn't the word for it. More like infamous.

Let's recap:

In 2000, Officer Rende returned to visit a victim of domestic abuse after responding to a call at her home. Why? To have sex with her. Rende was told then that any further misconduct would result in termination. What a Casanova.



By 2011, it was determined that he had called off work 37 times in four years to work side jobs above and beyond his almost six-figure detective job.

He had a “complaint history at the city’s Office of Municipal Investigations [that] contains a dozen accusations of conduct unbecoming an officer, verbal abuse and excessive force."

In 2011, it was Rende who tased and beat a drunken fan at PNC Park, garnering cries of, you guessed it, "excessive force."

Now, it’s Rende once again caught on video behaving in an overly aggressive manner, waving his taser at a woman before chasing down a drunk man and pushing him to the ground by holding a taser to his neck. Afterward, he kind of flips out at the bystanders and the man, who was apologetic.

The reason Frank Rende still has a job on the city's payroll can easily be summed up as 1. family connections (Rende's sister was living with the former head of city operations Dennis Regan, who quit when it was revealed he interfered in the investigation of Rende’s misconduct) and 2. the union. The union can make it so hard to fire an officer, even if the officer has clearly conducted himself or herself in a manner that would easily have gotten them fired at any other job on the planet. More often than not, you'll hear they're "suspended with pay."

So Lukey tiptoed around the issue, despite the fact that it seemed Rende had done more than enough to lose his job on multiple occasions.



Until now. Now that Rende is again caught on tape blowing a gasket, Ravenstahl is not saying what he would have said six months ago: "Myself and other individuals will be looking into this matter and we will take all of the information into consideration as we determine the best course of ... "

BLAH BLAH BLAH.

A man who no longer has to worry about reelection or keeping unions happy? Well, he sees that video and just says what everyone on earth is thinking:

"Somebody better give me a real good reason why this guy should not be fired," Ravenstahl said.

Excuse me a moment.

[thud]

Okay, I'm back.

I almost couldn't believe it. Luke Ravenstahl, speaking like a man. Speaking like a human. Chuck Norris-roundhouse-kicking the PoliticoSpeak 2.0 software to the proverbial curb and saying what needed to be said without fear of repercussion.

Gone is the use of 25 words when three would suffice. The only way Ravenstahl could be any more straightforward is if he had said, "This guy? SO fired."

But yes, regardless of whether or not Robocop Rende actually fired the taser, he's had more than enough chances to show he can be a good cop, and if Ravenstahl is using this incident to finally do what should have been done all the way back in 2000, then good for him. Rende clearly lost his cool again and it's only a matter of time before the city is faced with an enormous lawsuit when he goes way too far. Frank Rende is a liability, plain and simple.

There is no other Pittsburgh cop I've encountered in my voracious reading of the news who has been involved in as many public controversies as Rende. Real talk: He's a firecracker waiting to explode.

Or as the NEW Luke Ravenstahl would say, "Let's can this guy before he goes all KABLOOEY."

Amen, Luke.
 

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from PittGirl:

PittGirl: Yikes! Imagine This Instead of a Fountain at the Point

PittGirl: Yikes! Imagine This Instead of a Fountain at the Point

City leaders considered many options for Pittsburgh's confluence including something that looked like it was designed by the Jetsons, or an absolutely bonkers, batpoop insane idea by the one and only Frank Lloyd Wright.
10 Ways Pittsburgh Ruled 2015

10 Ways Pittsburgh Ruled 2015

This was a year that Pittsburgh showed the rest of the country exactly why we’re worthy of the label “world-class.”
The World-Famous Yinzer Gift Guide: 2015

The World-Famous Yinzer Gift Guide: 2015

Almost every one of these 16 gifts is made in Pittsburgh by Pittsburghers, and every single one is just the kind of unique and thoughtful gift any loved one would be lucky to receive.
25 Ways to Raise a Good Little Yinzer

25 Ways to Raise a Good Little Yinzer

From Fred Rogers and Roberto Clemente, to Vic Cianca, parking chairs and church pierogies; PittGirl offers a syllabus every parent should follow when teaching their children about Pittsburgh.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Go Behind the Scenes at the Sen. John Heinz History Center

Go Behind the Scenes at the Sen. John Heinz History Center

The newest long-term area in the museum offers visitors a snapshot into the preservation of western Pennsylvania history, one artifact at a time.
Comeback Kid - Jung Ho Kang Returns to the Practice Field

Comeback Kid - Jung Ho Kang Returns to the Practice Field

Kang shared a video of his rehab work since suffering the knee injury that ended his season 16 games shy of the playoffs last year.
Back From the Dead? Parkway Center Focus of New Development Talk

Back From the Dead? Parkway Center Focus of New Development Talk

Aside from a Giant Eagle, the mall has been empty for the past three years.
Great Catch: Easiest Way to Tasty Lenten Fish Frys

Great Catch: Easiest Way to Tasty Lenten Fish Frys

Looking for a delicious battered fish sandwich or golden-brown pierogies on Friday? Here’s a handy guide plus a few fun facts about our fascination with fish.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sign Up for the 412 e-Newsletter

 

Our new, daily e-newsletter is curated by the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine and is designed to give you the very best Pittsburgh has to offer -- delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign me up!
* Email
 First Name
 Last Name
  * = Required Field
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Go Behind the Scenes at the Sen. John Heinz History Center

Go Behind the Scenes at the Sen. John Heinz History Center

The newest long-term area in the museum offers visitors a snapshot into the preservation of western Pennsylvania history, one artifact at a time.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
PittGirl: Yikes! Imagine This Instead of a Fountain at the Point

PittGirl: Yikes! Imagine This Instead of a Fountain at the Point

City leaders considered many options for Pittsburgh's confluence including something that looked like it was designed by the Jetsons, or an absolutely bonkers, batpoop insane idea by the one and only Frank Lloyd Wright.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Pittsburgh Chef Move: Lily Tran New Executive Chef of Soba

Pittsburgh Chef Move: Lily Tran New Executive Chef of Soba

Tran takes over big Burrito's Ellsworth Ave. restaurant from Dustin Gardner, who moves back to Casbah on Highland Ave.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
7 Best Restaurants for College Students in Pittsburgh

7 Best Restaurants for College Students in Pittsburgh

Easy access from universities, wallet-friendly prices and really good food make these our favorite choices for the university set.

Comments


End Your Work Day at Muddy Waters' Oyster Happy Hour

End Your Work Day at Muddy Waters' Oyster Happy Hour

Some of the best oysters available in Pittsburgh can be yours for a steal at the new East Liberty spot.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Super Bowl Predictions: Can I Have That One Back?

Super Bowl Predictions: Can I Have That One Back?

Denver's upset win over Carolina -- predicted by hardly anyone (including yours truly) -- should be interpreted as good news for Steelers' fans.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Shirts We Love For Valentine’s Day

Shirts We Love For Valentine’s Day

Let your heart do the talking with these fun sweaters from Rosewood Boutique.

Comments


Sean Collier's Popcorn for Dinner

The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Leave Your Kids at Home and See 'Deadpool'

Leave Your Kids at Home and See 'Deadpool'

The R-rated superhero flick is foul-mouthed fun. Plus reviews of "How to Be Single," "Where to Invade Next" and more.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Going the Distance: International Introductions

Going the Distance: International Introductions

On Day Three of our Week of Wedded Bliss, we tracked down three of our Real Pittsburgh Weddings couples who went the distance and found one another abroad.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Say Hello (and Goodbye) to These Home & Lifestyle Shops

Say Hello (and Goodbye) to These Home & Lifestyle Shops

Divertido and Jack + Jules close in Lawrenceville, while the neighborhood welcomes Brambler Boutique. Plus, Splurge expands to a new location in Fox Chapel.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Mock Crime Scene to be Held at Waynesburg University

Mock Crime Scene to be Held at Waynesburg University

The event is for high school students who are interested in criminal justice, law enforcement and forensic science.

Comments

Edit Module