Apr 30, 2010

PITTSBUGH, PA A Brighton Heights man standing trial for rape stabbed himself in the throat as he left the witness stand at his jury trial today.

Robert Polzer, 34, had just completed cross-examination, when he was able to grab a pen. Just as he was about to stab himself, he shouted the victim's name and said, "I'm sorry."

Once he got the pen in, a witness said, Mr. Polzer continued to push it into his throat. An Allegheny County Sheriff's deputy used a Taser to stop him from doing further harm to himself.

Mr. Polzer was taken to UPMC Mercy, and his injury required surgery.

His defense attorney asked Judge John K. Reilly Jr. for a mistrial, and it was granted.

Once Mr. Polzer recuperates, the court will have to evaluate him for competency before setting another trial date.

He is accused of rape, false imprisonment and indecent assault, stemming from an Aug. 20, 2008, incident. Mr. Polzer is accused of raping a woman he had been friends with for several months.



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