Synagogue crash driver to get mental health treatment

| May 24, 2010

A man who police say crashed his car into the steps of a Squirrel Hill synagogue last month will get treatment for mental health problems before a preliminary hearing in his criminal case, his attorney said Friday.

Adam Disabato, 30, was charged with institutional vandalism, reckless driving and other offenses in the April 27 crash at Poale Zedeck synagogue at Shady and Phillips avenues.

Police said he told congregants, who apprehended him as he fled, that he was the messiah and that God told him to drive really fast.

A Thursday preliminary hearing was postponed because he had not been cleared by the Allegheny County Jail's behavioral clinic, said attorney David Chontos. A doctor recommended he spend 60 to 90 days at Torrance State Hospital for treatment of mental health problems that Mr. Chontos declined to disclose.

He said Mr. Disabato suffered a head injury at age 15 that likely caused some of his problems. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Aug. 18.

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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security