LEECHBURG, Penn. — State agents on Friday arrested a Western Pennsylvania police chief who gained national attention when he lost an arm in a fireworks accident only to return to duty with a prosthetic.
Leechburg police Chief Mike Diebold is charged with unlawful contact with a minor and criminal attempt to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced.
Diebold, 40, allegedly solicited sex from an undercover agent posing online as a 14-year-old girl, Shapiro said. He allegedly sent “inappropriate pictures” to the agent and made plans to meet despite the agent saying she was an underage girl on multiple occasions.
“This case is particularly heinous because the perpetrator is a public official, sworn to serve and protect the community,” Shapiro said.
Agents arrested Diebold on Friday afternoon at the Sheetz in Lower Burrell where the police chief thought he was meeting with the fictional 14-year-old girl for sex.
Sources tell Channel 11 he’s being questioned at the Lower Burrell Police Department.
When Channel 11 went to the Leechburg Police Department for comment, officers there were shocked — they hadn’t yet heard the news.
Leechburg Mayor Wayne Dobos did not immediately return multiple phone calls asking for comment on Diebold’s arrest.
Diebold lost his lower left arm in a fireworks accident last summer. He gained an army of supporters throughout his rehabilitation for his determination to return to duty despite the injury.
“Diebold admitted that he knew that sexual contact with a 14-year child was wrong and illegal and that his life was totally over,” a complaint criminal complaint said, according to WTAE.