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December 31, 2013

Let the Countdown Begin

Filed under: Police Blotter,Scandal — Chas @ 6:00 pm

It’s New Year’s Eve. Time for the Pitt tradition unlike any other in college athletics. The annual New Years Eve monitoring of media outlets out of fear of learning that a coach has been arrested.

It’s a rich tradition that dates back to 2010.

I know I have been vigilant ever since that fateful evening.

Happy New Years, everyone.

November 1, 2013

Cloud Over Ezell Clearing

Filed under: Football,Police Blotter,Scandal — Chas @ 6:13 am

Back when the news was finally reported about Tyrone Ezell facing assault charges, I said I just didn’t know about it. I didn’t know if he should have been suspended. I didn’t know if the accusations were accurate.

Well, the hearing finally took place and charges were all withdrawn. Ezell is now facing a summary harassment count.

Homestead police in August charged Tyrone Ezell, 23, of Munhall, with simple assault, disorderly conduct and harassment after a 21-year-old woman accused him of punching her in the mouth July 30 during a fight also involving his relatives.

Homestead Cpl. Jeffrey Luptak said today the court told him he could file a summary offense against Mr. Ezell, his father, Albert, and their two accusers.

The elder Mr. Ezell, whose similar charges also were withdrawn Wednesday, now too faces the same harassment charge. Cpl. Luptak said he didn’t cite the accusers today, though, because he doesn’t have a complainant or victim.

Basically, we will not know. The family dispute appears to be settled. The police are portraying it as not having anyone willing to testify, not an issue of lack of evidence — such as medical records. But, once more, we don’t know. The only reality right now is that Ezell is mostly without worry of any significant criminal charges.

Ezell is also disputing this summary harassment as well, for what that is worth.

October 4, 2013

Briefly On Ezell

Filed under: Football,Police Blotter,Scandal — Chas @ 7:48 pm

Just because, it seems that I should at least say something….

I don’t know.

It’s not like the details from the charges filed based on the complaint make this any clearer. I know what Tyrone Ezell is accused of doing, but there is nothing reported as to what he said happened, other than claiming innocence on the charges.

This is a domestic dispute that will be a he-said/she-said. The police arrived afterwards so they only see the aftermath and the statements taken from the involved parties.

Nothing about this is neat and tidy. I doubt the hearing — if/when it finally happens — will clear this up any more than the allegations in the complaint.

I think Coach Paul Chryst adopted the wait-and-see on this matter for the simple reason that it is too messed-up to draw a clean conclusion. Do you suspend him because he was with his father to confront the person believed to have assaulted his sister, and it all went south? Do you even let him play if he is alleged to have punched a woman in the face in the midst of this?

The only thing that has me truly surprised is that this has been unknown and unreported for over two months.

August 26, 2013

I would like to hope this is not as bad as it looks, but it probably is.

Officers arrested Jovani Chappel, 25, about 1:30 p.m. after police spotted him sitting on the front porch of a home in the 5000 block of Lytle Street in Hazelwood, Pittsburgh police major crimes unit Lt. Kevin Kraus said.

Police went to the PNC Bank branch in the 4300 block of Murray Avenue in Greenfield about 10:40 a.m.

Lt. Kraus said a masked robber threatened the tellers with a gun, although it was not immediately clear if the tellers actually spotted one.

The robber hopped over the counter and took cash from several of the tellers’ drawers and then got into a car and drove away, police said.

A witness noted the license plate and gave it to police, who tracked it to Mr. Chappel’s girlfriend’s home in the 5100 block of Blair Street, Lt. Kraus said.

Members of the SWAT team surrounded the house and searched it and a few other homes in the area this morning, only to discover that Mr. Chappel was not there.

Officers found him sitting on the front porch of a home about two block away, on Lytle Street, about 1:30 p.m. It was not immediately clear what connection, if any, he had to that home.

Lt. Kraus said police were taking Mr. Chappel to the bureau’s North Side headquarters for questioning this afternoon and expect to charge him with robbery.

I’m setting the bar low, but I guess I would have thought anyone who graduated from Pitt would have been smart enough not to drive a getaway car with easily identifiable and traceable plates. Guess not.

July 30, 2013

Now What About Tra’von

Filed under: Football,Police Blotter,Scandal — Chas @ 7:21 am

In something of a surprise the Trav’on Chapman case has resulted in some real jail time stemming from a guilty plea.

Former Kent Roosevelt star quarterback and University of Pittsburgh freshman Tra’Von Chapman pled guilty to a charge of attempted assault on Monday afternoon in Portage County Municipal Court.

Judge Barbara Oswick accepted the plea and ordered Chapman to spend three days in jail, pay a $200 fine, 40 hours of community service and must report to adult probation Aug. 2. Judge also issued a no-contact order, which prohibits Chapman from speaking to the victim or her family.

“Attempted assault” is a class 4 misdemeanor — the lowest classification for misdemeanors in Ohio. That’s why I was surprised a first-time offender would get any jail time. Technically the the judge can order jail time but it is also for no more than 30 days under the Ohio Revised Code (Sec. 2929.24(A)(4)). But, according to the stories, Chapman was sentenced to 90 days with 87 suspended.

Of course, Chapman was also ordered to fulfill 40 hours of community service and it seems the court suspended 20 of that by his working 20 hours with his old high school football team this summer. So, yeah. I really shouldn’t think too much about the details of the sentencing.

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June 13, 2013

Okay, this seems to be a procedural snafu, but it put a scare into me when I saw the headline screaming of failing to appear for a hearing.

Two men who were members of the University of Pittsburgh football team when police said they were caught with drug paraphernalia failed to appear in court for their preliminary hearings this morning.

One of them, Khanyin Mosley-Smith, 21, came to city court later this afternoon with a letter confirming that he had performed community service and will have his charge dismissed, according to Mike Manko, a spokesman for the Allegheny County district attorney’s office.

The other, Eric Williams, 20, did not show and was held for trial in Common Pleas Court, Mr. Manko said.

So missing the hearing, not a big deal since the matter was all resolved. No real harm or foul there.

Whether he gets back on the squad this year — or next — is still an open question. He is still suspended indefinitely.

April 30, 2013

Tuesdays are a bad day right now. The schedule has me away from a computer from the time I take the kids to school until sometime after I get the kids to bed.

Seems I missed a few things.

The unsurprising first. A couple players dismissed from the team in light of recent activities at their apartment.

Juniors Drew Carswell and Eric Williams are now gone from the team. The third player suspended in the incident, Khaynin Mosley-Smith, remains suspended indefinitely.

“We have strict and clear standards regarding these types of behaviors,” Chryst said in a statement released on Friday afternoon. “What has occurred with these three young men does not represent the standards of our program or university.”

I don’t know why Mosley-Smith was not dismissed from the team. It doesn’t mean he won’t be, but his status may be a little more gray. I have a speculation, but I don’t know if it is so.

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April 27, 2013

The situation with Khaynin Mosley-Smith, Eric Williams and Drew Carswell, is not as bad as it could be. But it really isn’t good. I won’t be surprised if all three never play again for Pitt. I also won’t be shocked if two of the three get reinstated by the start of camp in August.

To say they made some bad choices is putting it mildly.

Police had been conducting an ongoing investigation in South Oakland and bought 20 stamp bags of heroin for $185 on Thursday night outside a house on Juliet Street from a man identified as Darnell Reed-Young, 22, according to a criminal complaint.

Police obtained a search warrant for the house, and as they prepared to enter, a man identified as Khaynin Mosley-Smith, 21, left the house.

Mosley-Smith, a member of the Pitt football team, told police that he lived there.

When police searched the home early Friday, they found drug packaging material and paraphernalia. Also inside were Pitt players Eric Williams, 20, and Andrew Carswell, 21. Police found a digital scale with white residue in Carswell’s bedroom.

Police charged the three football players by summons with prohibited acts.

Reed-Young admitted selling the heroin to a detective, police said, and all three Pitt players live in the home. He was taken to the Allegheny County Jail and faces several drug-related charges, including possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.

Do I think the three were shooting up or dealing? No. Do I think they were knowingly allowing someone who was dealing, do it from their place? Yes.

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November 26, 2012

The details of Trey Zeigler’s DUI are still unknown. The consequences, however, are. Zeigler is suspended indefinitely following the incident of Saturday night/Sunday morning. Not really surprising. This suspension was a no-brainer.

“The incident involving Trey Zeigler is not only surprising, but incredibly disappointing,” Dixon said in a statement. “Although I believe it was out of character for Trey, he has been immediately suspended until further notice. Trey has expressed his deep regret to me and understands and respects the importance of accountability for one’s actions.”

Zeigler also issued a statement that reads: “I want to apologize to my family, the University of Pittsburgh, my teammates and coaches and the entire Pittsburgh community. This is not indicative of the kind of person I am, nor the kind of person I want to be.”

This is the first incident where Zeigler has gotten in any sort of trouble like this. It was a big screw-up, and hopefully his only one.

So, we can’t enjoy a weekend stress free, huh?

Potentially ugly news right now. Let’s start with the most salacious version of things — since this is the one everyone is going to focus.

Pittsburgh police said football player Stephen Williams was charged following an alleged domestic incident with a woman in Oakland on Saturday. Police said the woman flagged down officers as she stood on the street, bruised an holding a clump of her hair.

Hours later, police found University of Pittsburgh basketball player Ernest Zeigler III passed out inside his Hummer at an Oakland intersection.

Police said Zeigler failed all field sobriety tests, had a blood alcohol level of .129 and threw up in a holding cell toilet.

Oh, boy. Sounds really bad. For both situations. Ugly Saturday night for all. Yet, this is the only story on Williams, and Zeigler’s tale seems not to jibe with other versions.

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November 2, 2012

Needless Distractions

Filed under: Football,Players,Police Blotter,Scandal — Chas @ 8:28 am

UPDATE: Pitt has issued a statement on the players situation, it is below the fold.

Really not much that can say about the assault charges that are filed against Devin Street, Ray Graham and Lafayette Pitts. I won’t outright call them a load of bull, but let’s just say there doesn’t seem to be much meat to the charges.

Pittsburgh police wrote in a criminal complaint that they were working an overtime detail early on Oct. 21 when they tried to disperse a crowd from the intersection of Oakland Avenue and Bates Street and three people remained in the roadway.

One those people, Karl Olsheski, told police he had just been assaulted. He refused medical treatment and said he did not want to file a report, he just wanted officers to stop the man who had punched him, according to the criminal complaint.

In an interview with police, Mr. Olsheski said he was walking in Oakland with two women when Mr. Graham stopped him, said, “What’s up?” and uttered a racial slur. Mr. Olsheski said that he replied “nothing” and tried to leave but Mr. Graham, Mr. Street and Mr. Pitts surrounded him and then Mr. Street slugged him on the left side of the head, according to the criminal complaint.

The players are being mailed their summons to appear. It is simple assault and conspiracy. The stories do not make clear how the three were identified or whether they were detained at the incident. They were not and will not be arrested in connection to the charges. They haven’t even received notice that they are being charged, since the summons are being mailed to them.

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September 28, 2012

Good lawyer, probably a bit of overdoing it on the number of charges, and a clean past help.

Back in May, Carl Krauser had a bit of trouble with the police. You may recall the laundry list of charges: escape, carrying a loaded weapon, possession of a small amount of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, public drunkenness and driving with a suspended license.

The escape, public drunkenness and driving with a suspended license charges were all dropped. That left the drug and weapon charges. The outcome? Two years of ARD.

Krauser, 31, of New York City, was approved for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program Tuesday by Judge Kim Tesla. If participants successfully complete ARD, they can petition court officials to have their record expunged.

Court records show that Krauser will be on ARD for two years on charges of having firearms not to be carried without a license, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

As a first time offender, he was eligible for the program. That strikes me as a pretty good lawyer to be able to get him ARD when it involves an unlicensed, loaded firearm.

Obviously a huge burden off of Krauser. He had to give up his passport while the case was pending. That meant no way for him to sign an overseas contract with his legal status up in the air. Now, he can return to playing professional basketball in Europe or Asia.

July 23, 2012

NCAA On PSU Open Thread

Filed under: Football,NCAA,Police Blotter,Scandal — Chas @ 7:47 am

Well, it has been an active 24 hours or so, hasn’t it?

The Joe Paterno statue has been removed. Reports swirl of unprecedented sanctions from the NCAA — that Penn State won’t fight — and quickly verbal commits start hedging on their future.

NCAA President Mark Emmert is going to be conducting a press conference this morning at 9am to lay things out on Penn State. This is all uncharted territory, but everything about this Penn State scandal is uncharted territory for college athletics and the NCAA.

Yahoo Sports reported on Sunday, citing two sources, that Mr. Emmert has been able to skip the normal enforcement procedure as part of a provision allowed in the NCAA constitution by getting permission from the NCAA’s board of directors. The board comprises 18 university presidents and chancellors.

Coincidentally, former Penn State president Graham Spanier endorsed the need for swift decisions by the board, like the type it has reportedly taken, at a summit of NCAA presidents last August.

“The board needs to be prepared to take stronger actions directly,” he said.

We’ll all find out in just a short while. Twitter may break on this one.

 

 

May 15, 2012

Not good. Not good at all Carl Krauser.

One of the leading scorers in University of Pittsburgh basketball history is facing multiple charges for attempting to run from a police drunken-driving checkpoint in Beaver Falls.

Carl Isaac Krauser, 30, of 1744 Watson Ave., New York City, was charged by Beaver Falls police with escape, carrying a loaded weapon, possession of a small amount of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, public drunkenness and driving with a suspended license.

Playing at Pitt from 2002 through 2006, Krauser was the first player in program history to finish his career with 1,000 points, 500 assists and 500 rebounds.

Krauser was detained by police manning a drunken-driving checkpoint at 10:15 p.m. Friday on Seventh Avenue in Beaver Falls, according to the report.

As officers checked his license, Krauser stepped from his car and began to run, police said. He was located by police moments later in the Save-A-Lot parking lot, 400 Ninth Ave.

As he was being placed in a patrol car, a plastic bag containing marijuana fell from Krauser’s pant leg, police said. A second bag was found in a pants pocket.

As they prepared to tow Krauser’s car, police said they found a loaded gun under the front passenger seat.

A breath test showed Krauser’s blood-alcohol level was 0.067 percent, according to police.

That is a fail on just so many levels. One bad decision after another.

April 1, 2012

At least if the police report is accurate.

Pittsburgh police arrested Fleming, 21, of Reisterstown, Md., about 10 p.m. Friday outside One Stop Mini Mart on the Boulevard of the Allies in Oakland.

As Fleming exited the store and got into his Ford Taurus, police approached and attempted to stop him for a traffic violation. Fleming pulled away and attempted to hit the marked police car before crashing into a guard rail, according to a criminal complaint.

Fleming then shoved a plastic bag containing marijuana in his mouth and started to swallow, authorities said. Officers pulled Fleming from the car and, after failing to remove the bag, punched him, successfully dislodging the drugs from his mouth, the criminal complaint states.

Despite commands to remain on the ground, Fleming struggled with officers before being handcuffed, authorities said.

He was evaluated at UPMC Mercy, Uptown, and taken to the Allegheny County Jail, where he was being held in lieu of $10,000 bond. Police charged Fleming with two counts of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, fleeing or eluding police, drug possession, tampering with evidence and vehicular offenses.

What ever your feelings on drug laws, if Carl Fleming thought he could swallow the baggie of dope, he probably did not have a quantity sufficient to take this beyond a misdemeanor — and likely a summary offense at that. Not good, but hardly career ending for a 1-A scholarship football player.

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