Created on Friday, 02 November 2012 20:24
Written by The Pitt News Staff
Three Pitt football players were charged with assault and conspiracy on Thursday after an altercation that took place on Oct. 21 at the intersection of Bates Street and Oakland Avenue, according to Pittsburgh police.
Running back Raymond E. Graham, 22, of Elizabeth, N.J., wide receiver Devin C. Street, 21, of Bethlehem, Pa., and cornerback Lafayette E. Pitts, 20, of East Pittsburgh, Pa., will remain active members of Pitt’s football team, according to Pitt spokesman E.J. Borghetti, who said in a statement Friday morning that the department was recently made aware of the police report.
“Those individuals have denied any involvement with the situation and have offered to speak with authorities, although to date, they have not been questioned or received any court documents,” Borghetti said in the statement. “We take matters of player discipline very seriously and will continue to cooperate with any investigation. However, we will not, and hope others will not, rush to judgment on these misdemeanor allegations.”
The three men were not arrested, but will receive summonses that they are scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 9 for a preliminary hearing.
According to police documents, Karl Olsheski, who filed the criminal complaint, was walking with two women, Diana Olsheski and Samantha Mitchell, on Oakland Avenue the night following the Buffalo game. The complaint stated that Karl Olsheski, Diana Olsheski and Mitchell tried to pass a group of men dressed in Pitt football gear on the sidewalk when a confrontation occurred.
Both Olsheskis and Mitchell are Pitt students.
According to the criminal complaint, Graham asked, “what up,” with a racial epithet to Karl Olsheski, who responded, “nothing,” and tried to continue walking away. But Graham blocked his path and Street stood directly in front of him. Olsheski tried backing away, but Pitts blocked his path.
Karl Olsheski told police that shortly after this verbal exchange, Street struck him in the left side of his head. Upon arrival, police asked Karl Olsheski if he required medical attention, but he said his “clavicle is fine.”
Police presented Karl Olsheski, Diana Olsheski and Mitchell with an array of Pitt football team members’ photographs to have them identify the alleged suspects. Diana Olsheski identified Graham, and told police that he was a well-known figure on Pitt’s campus. She also positively identified Pitts, telling police she recognized him from an African-American Dance class she shares with him.
The criminal complaint states that Karl Olsheski corroborated Diana Olsheski’s positive identification of Graham.
After police showed the same array of photographs to Mitchell, she positively identified Street, saying that he shared a class on vampires with her last spring.
None of the parties involved in the case responded to requests for comment.
All three men are starters for the Pitt football team. Graham leads the team in rushing with 622 yards and seven touchdowns after returning from a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament tear last year.
Street is the team’s receiving leader, with 50 receptions for 695 yards and four touchdowns.
In his first year as a starter, Pitts has accumulated 19 tackles.