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September 17, 2007

Well, this doesn’t look good.

Levance Fields was charged with one count each of aggravated assault, disarming a police officer, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.

The incident took place at 1:50 a.m. at Pure nightclub. According to a police affidavit, an officer working an off-duty detail at Pure spotted Mr. Fields yelling at another police officer. The officer approached Mr. Fields and asked him to stop yelling and using offensive language.

Mr. Fields then went into the street and began arguing with an unknown black man. The officer approached Mr. Fields again and repeated his request that he stop yelling and using offensive language, at which time Mr. Fields cursed at the officer and struck him in the chest, police reported.

Mr. Fields then grabbed at the officer’s duty belt and reached for the officer’s weapon, according to the affidavit. The officer pushed him away, and a security officer shot Mr. Fields in the chest with a Taser.

Fields has a court date on the 24th. Like Coach Dixon, I’m fine with a bit of wait-and-see on what happens, especially considering the preliminary hearing is next Monday.

“Earlier today I was informed of an incident at an off-campus location involving Levance Fields. At this juncture, we will let the judicial process run its course before determining what disciplinary action is necessary. We have built a successful program at Pitt, on and off the court, by prioritizing personal accountability and responsibility. We will not compromise when it comes to those values.”

There is no immediate need to suspend Fields since they aren’t even at formal practices right now. I do expect some sort of suspension for Fields regardless of how the charges are eventually resolved/pled down. Fields clearly messed up, badly.
Seeing the Yuri Demetris comparisons are way off to me. Demetris was stalking, purposefully breaking into an ex-girlfriend’s place. It also took place in the season, necessitating an immediate suspension then being kicked off of the team. The Demetris comparisons are just not apt in my mind.
I’m not trying to diminish the seriousness of what Fields may be facing in charges. Especially with the accusation that he reached for a police officer’s weapon. That’s the part that takes it beyond drunken stupidity.

I guess, Fields was sick of seeing Duquesne get all the fun headlines the last few weeks.

I agree with the wait and see. If Levance went after a “uniformed” off-duty cop then he deserves the severest of punishment. If the off-duty officer was not in uniform and looked like any ordinary bouncer, who knows what Levance could have been reacting to.

The story will play out and I wouldn’t be surprised if it got dropped to a disturbing the peace.

Comment by Time will Tell 09.17.07 @ 12:02 pm

The officer he supposedly hit and went for his gun was uniformed.

It says a “security officer” tasered him – that could be a security guard/bouncer or a uniformed cop on a private detail. Too vague.

This is the part I don’t understand. He is yelling at Police Officer A. Police Officer B comes over and tells him to shut up, so he leaves them both alone. Why the hell didn’t A tell him to shut up, and why the hell did B get involved in the first place? Then, after Fields went and was arguing with someone else altogether, why was B following him around and telling him to shut up some more?

BTW the owner of Pure is also the owner of Club Erotica. And they didn’t take all the liquor out of the building, they just put it in the back room. I wouldn’t even guarantee it wasn’t available to some. The last time I was at Pure, I knew the general manager, and he is a complete dick. When he was managing another place, he literally challenged me to a fight in the back alley (while he was working) because I was arguing with him over a tab they screwed up. Thats right, a manager of a bar, challenging a customer to a fight in an alley. Now, I can’t say he either works there still or was involved at all, but I read that Fields had trouble inside the place too. And knowing they hire pricks…

I can’t excuse his behavior, but I’m not rushing to a guilty on anything yet, knowing how some of the actors in this case behave themselves. I don’t believe much I can’t see on video or audio anymore… I’ve seen these uniformed detailed cops push people into traffic, scream at people needlessly, etc. And these were at bars I was working at! It was funny to us then, being on the other side of it. Not so funny being on the receiving end…

Comment by Stuart 09.17.07 @ 12:24 pm

I’m guessing the off-duty officer was not in uniform. The press releases keep referring to the security guy as an “officer” which is misleading because it implies he was in uniform. But this isn’t the PR the program needs…most emailed article on the post-gazette site. Maybe he was trying to take the heat off the football program. Thanks Levance!

Comment by pittfan 09.17.07 @ 1:20 pm

It says “an officer working an off-duty detail” – these are 100% in uniform police officers.

I’ve worked at bars that hired them, and have hired them myself. These are the uniformed cops standing in front of bars/restaurants you see all the time. The officer is being paid by the establishment, but they wear their work clothes to make it seem like they are on-duty, because bouncers aren’t as scary.

Comment by Stuart 09.17.07 @ 1:32 pm

I read about this after watching the New England Cheaters game and couldn’t believe it at first. Why would Levance do this?, to me it doesn’t even fit his personality(not that I have ever spoke to him or stood next to him). What I do know is what others say about him, including coaches and opposing players. This might be the worse thing that has ever happened to him.

Going for an officers weapon is not a joke, he’s lucky he wasn’t beaten or killed(I don’t know enough details as to what weapon he allegedly went for). He’s from New York, where I grew up at….and the last thing you want to do is screw with a trigger happy disgruntled blue boy(even a security guard with a taser). Plain and simple, Levance you fucked up and should have known better.

The best I can hope for is that the process goes fast and doesn’t distract the other players. I would not be surprised if Fields gets suspended for the year. I would really like to know more about the situation, like Fields side of the story. If at any point he mentions touching the officer anywhere around his duty belt, then suspend him. I hope that this story has been blown out of proportion by the media and by other “drunk” eyewitnesses, I really do.

Comment by Panthoor 09.17.07 @ 1:33 pm

I’m starting to think that Elijah and Levance are brothers!!!

Comment by Fcuk Paterno 09.17.07 @ 1:45 pm

Is Levance even 21 yet? If not what the hell was he even doing down in the strip…and for anyone who cares the strip is a place to go if you want to be shot, arrested, or beaten up. It primarily consists of soon to be gangsters, hoods, and the trash elements of society. Until they clean the area up during the weekends, it is not a place I would ever recommend, to anyone, not even a PennState fan.

Comment by Marco 09.17.07 @ 5:15 pm

He’s 20.

Half of the places in the strip are under 21 clubs now.

Comment by Stuart 09.17.07 @ 5:44 pm

[…] As petty and cruel as the Weis story is, it pales in comparison to how Pitt basketball star Levance Fields spent his weekend.  Fields was tasered outside of a club after striking a police officer in the chest and trying to pry his gun from his holster. Holy shit. Maybe Pittsburgh does know how to party. […]

[…] There’s only so much you are going to get out of any athlete after they screw-up. If they don’t want to talk about it any more or won’t talk about it, there’s little to be done. The media knows this and has a general reluctance to push a college player too hard on the matter. Unlike pro athletes it isn’t endorsement money and league suspensions at stake. Unlike politicians, it isn’t their livelihood and election prospects. So, it’s no surprise that Levance Fields didn’t say much about his arrest last month, and the subsequent resolution. […]

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