Leechburg police Chief Mike Diebold is being held under protective custody at the Westmoreland County Prison, which means he isn’t in contact with any other inmates and is escorted by guards everywhere.
Diebold, 40, of Gilpin was arrested Friday after attempting to rendezvous with a 14-year-old girl who was actually an undercover agent, according to the state Attorney General’s Office.
He is charged with unlawful contact with a minor and criminal attempt to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, according to the attorney general.
County jail Warden John Walton said this is standard procedure for police officers who end up in custody because there may be other inmates they were responsible for sending to jail. He said it’s to protect their safety while being held.
Another issue that Diebold faces is the loss of most of one arm. It was blown off as he was setting off large fireworks for a community display last June.
But Walton said Diebold’s disability doesn’t affect his time in jail.
He said the jail has handicapped-accessible showers and other facilities he can use.
Diebold remains in the jail in lieu of $500,000 straight bond, meaning that he would have to come up with the entire amount in order to be released while awaiting trial.
His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 16 in front of District Judge Cheryl Peck Yakopec in Allegheny Township.
Mayor Wayne Dobos has said he expects to talk with the borough’s lawyer Monday to discuss how to proceed with Diebold’s employment as chief. Diebold remains on paid leave until a decision is made.