The Steelers played last Thursday, which meant that the team’s players were free to party Saturday. This wasn’t a good thing for fourth round draft pick and rookie Alameda Ta’Amu, who was arrested for five felonies and several other misdemeanors and traffic offenses including DUI, fleeing and eluding, aggravated assault and resisting arrest after a crash Sunday morning. (Here is the docket sheet listing the charges).
And what a DUI it was.
It started when a police officer attempted to make traffic stop after seeing Ta’amu driving recklessly in his Lincoln Navigator. There are reports of him driving the wrong way, swerving, cutting in and out of traffic and speeding. After slowing down, an officer tried to approach and stop the vehicle. The officer even drew his weapon, but Ta’amu drove off, nearly striking the officer. Ta’amu was then chased and he allegedly crashed into three or four parked cars, then took off again until he crashed into another. He then ripped off his shirt and attempted to flee on foot, but was chased down by officers who struggled to arrest him. Ta’amu kept struggling, until a police officer punched him in the face twice.
Reports state that Ta’amu had a blood alcohol level of 0.196, almost two and a half times the legal limit.
According to a local TV station, WPXI:
A Pittsburgh Steelers rookie defensive lineman who was arrested early Sunday on charges of leading police on a chase while driving drunk on the city’s South Side and crashing into parked cars, injuring at least two people, apologized to his teammates Monday.
Channel 11 News obtained the criminal complaint against Alameda Ta’amu, a fourth-round draft pick from the University of Washington. The rookie nose tackle has been inactive for each of the Steelers’ five regular season games.
The criminal complaint said police spotted a 2006 Lincoln Navigator going the wrong way on Fort Pitt Boulevard early Sunday morning, when the driver then crossed the Smithfield Street Bridge and ran a red light as he turned onto East Carson Street.
Police said the driver then crossed into opposing traffic, driving on the wrong side of the street for seven blocks, to pass several cars at a time on East Carson Street.
The criminal complaint said one officer dressed in full uniform yelled, “Police! Stop the vehicle.” That officer then said the driver, later identified as Ta’amu, swerved toward him and nearly ran him over. Two other officers said they also spotted the car and drew their guns as the Navigator came at them, but neither of them fired “due to the large number of pedestrians and motorists on the sidewalks and roadway.”Police say Ta’amu took a sharp turn off of East Carson Street and onto South 14th Street. There, he allegedly hit four cars as police chased him.
A woman in one of those cars was hurt. Jenifer Kosko told Channel 11’s Alan Jennings that she was in her car with a friend when Ta’amu crashed into them.
“We were just having a good time, and at the end of the night we usually get pizza or gyros or something. So we were just sitting in my car eating pizza when it happened,” Kosko said.
Kosko suffered a black eye and swollen forehead in the incident. Her friend suffered a knee injury.
Police said the chase took another turn when Ta’amu hit a fifth car, totaling both vehicles.
Police said they ran toward him, and officers said Ta’amu then sprinted away from the car. Investigators said he took off his blue shirt to avoid being recognized.
When police caught up to him, they told him to get on the ground and put his hands behind his back.
According to the criminal complaint, one officer was concerned that Ta’amu was reaching for his waistband, so he punched him in the face. Police said they eventually got Ta’amu, who refused medical treatment, into handcuffs and took him to jail.
“He could have killed someone, especially down there with all of the pedestrians,” Kosko said.
Arresting officers said Ta’amu’s breath smelled like alcohol, his speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot. Police said Ta’amu agreed to take a blood alcohol test, and he registered a blood alcohol content of .196 percent, more than twice the legal limit.
Charges against him include felony fleeing police, aggravated assault and aggravated assault by vehicle, as well as misdemeanor accident causing damage, resisting arrest, escape and DUI charges, along with summary counts, according to court records. He was released from custody on Sunday.
Read the whole story at http://www.wpxi.com/news/news/local/steelers-player-arrested-after-overnight-police-ch/nSck3/
Also see Sportsgrid‘s breakdown of the police report here: http://www.sportsgrid.com/nfl/alameda-taamu-arrest-details/