PITTSBURGH PA Jan 10 2017 Pittsburgh Steelers assistant coach Joey Porter was arrested Sunday night outside of a South Side bar, accused of assaulting a doorman and an off-duty police officer working a security detail.
It happened at The Flats around 9:30 p.m., just hours after the Steelers’ 30-12 victory over the Dolphins in the opening round of the NFL playoffs.
According to the criminal complaint, the off-duty officer was working security at another nearby bar when he was told that the doorman at The Flats on Carson Street “was being threatened by a Pittsburgh Steeler.”
The officer said he arrived at the scene and found Porter “standing over” and yelling at the doorman.
The criminal complaint says the officer heard the doorman tell Porter, “Last time you [Porter] were here, you threatened to kill me. You need to leave. You are not getting in.”
The officer said Porter ignored him when he asked what was going on. According to the criminal complaint, Porter then lunged at the doorman, grabbed him by the arms and lifted him off the ground.
The doorman wasn’t aggressive with Porter and had his hands in his pockets, according to the complaint.
The officer said he pulled Porter away from the doorman. That’s when, according to the criminal complaint, Porter grabbed the officer’s wrists “so tightly that I could not pull them away from him, no matter how hard I tried.”
According to the criminal complaint, police say Porter was “extremely agitated” and had “a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from his mouth and glassy, bloodshot eyes.”
Porter backed away, but then refused to put his hands behind his back.
The officer said he then called for backup and followed Porter as he walked along East Carson Street.
Porter eventually allowed himself to be handcuffed, but yelled, “You’re lying, I never touched you,” as the officer arrested him, the complaint said.
A bouncer at a nearby bar, who witnessed the incident, said it was Porter who was treated unfairly.
“I’m down here on this corner every weekend. Every weekend, I’m here, standing here, and the way that they treated him was ridiculous,” said Gavin Wiefling, the bouncer at Winghart’s.
Porter was transported to the Allegheny County Jail. His charges include aggravated assault, simple assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and public drunkenness.
Porter was arraigned on the charges early Monday morning and was released from jail on $25,000 bond.
His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 19.
Steelers Director of Communications Burt Lauten released a statement on the incident Sunday night:
“We are aware of an incident tonight involving Joey Porter. We are still gathering information as it pertains to the situation, and we will have no further comment until we get more details.”
Porter, the Steelers’ outside linebackers coach, spent 13 seasons as a linebacker with Pittsburgh, Miami and Arizona.
The Steelers face the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in the divisional round of the playoffs.