Probably not the best news for Anthony Gonzalez. His arraignment date is not until September 1.
Gonzalez, 20, waived his right for a preliminary hearing Monday in front of District Justice Nancy Matos Gonzalez in Bethlehem.
The marijuana charge is a misdemeanor and the others are summary violations, according to court papers. Gonzalez was cited May 20 while he was a passenger in a car that was stopped by police in South Bethlehem.
Pitt coach Todd Graham suspended Gonzalez, one of only three quarterbacks on the roster, at the time of the incident. His status with the team hasn’t changed, a spokesman said.
That means Gonzalez very likely won’t have this settled until after training camp. The season opener is September 3. While I have stated that I do not feel these charges do not merit a dismissal from the team or even much more than a game suspension, there is no way Pitt will reinstate Gonzalez to the team until after the case has been settled — if it takes until then.
That said, there is some good news for Gonzalez. He had the marijuana charge lowered and he’s applying for the ARD program in hopes of getting back on the squad sooner rather than later:
Enrollment in the accelerated rehabilitative disposition program, known as ARD, will hopefully allow for Gonzalez to have only a short suspension from the University of Pittsburgh football team, his attorney Joshua Karoly said.
Authorities also have agreed to amend Gonzalez’s possession of a small amount of marijuana charge to conspiracy to possess marijuana, Karoly said.
“Anthony put himself in a position he shouldn’t have,” Karoly said. “He was in a car where marijuana was being smoked. He is standing up and taking responsibility for that.”
Gonzalez, 20, of the 500 block of Hanover Street in Bethlehem, was cited May 20 while a passenger in a car that police stopped during a large-scale sweep of illicit activity across South Side Bethlehem. Authorities said Gonzalez had a marijuana cigarette and he also was charged with underage drinking and possession of a fake identification card.
The judge had some questions and pointed words for Gonzalez.
Gonzalez waived his right to a preliminary hearing today before District Judge Nancy Matos Gonzalez. She asked Gonzalez if he had a support system in his life and if he needed any drug or alcohol treatment.
Gonzalez pointed to his mother who was in court with him and said he is taking drug and alcohol awareness classes at the University in Pittsburgh. Karoly said Gonzalez chose to enroll in the classes himself and he also is performing community service at the university.
Matos Gonzalez gave Anthony Gonzalez a warning before releasing him from court today.
“The bottom line is you’re not a young punk any more,” she said. “The older you get, the more responsibilities you’re taking on. … The more you have to lose.”
He’s been finding that out this summer. Meanwhile, the Syracuse WR and Gonzalez’s former HS teammate who was also busted at the same time is having his situation with Syracuse “handled internally.”
In other police blotter related news, Fernando “Manny” Diaz, a former Pitt player had his charges significantly reduced at hearing.
District Judge Edward Tibbs dismissed charges of resisting arrest, underage drinking and obstruction of justice against Fernando Diaz, 20, of New York.
Diaz had earlier reached an agreement with police in which he agreed to pay a fine on other summary charges of public intoxication and disorderly conduct.
Police arrested Diaz — a 6-foot-2, 280-pound offensive lineman who had left the Pitt team but was attempting a return — March 12 after they said he was drunk, blocked their cruiser from driving down Atwood Street and then threw punches at them when they tried to take him into custody.
…And tased him some four times to subdue him. Suffice to say, Diaz is not returning to Pitt’s football team. Hopefully, though, he can make a fresh start somewhere and not blow another opportunity.
In non-police blotter notes, the start times for the first two football games of the Todd Graham era have been announced. Buffalo on September 3 is at 6 pm and Maine on September 10 is 1 pm. As you might guess with those times, there is no national TV for these games.
Oh, and PittScript has a picture of the montage of Pitt season tickets for this year.