“Nearly a warfare zone on the market”; Pittsburgh’s south facet once more within the highlight as the middle of controversy for Pittsburgh athletes – CBS Pittsburgh

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – While famous for its wide range of bars, restaurants, tattoo parlors, and often the destination for those looking to have a fun evening, Pittsburgh’s South Side is gaining new prominence – because it is a place where celebrities and athletes in Pittsburgh alike are in trouble.

Accused of assault

NFL star Aaron Donald, a former Pitt player and a Penn Hills American by birth, is the youngest among a long list of college and professional athletes to become involved in controversy or legal trouble after engaging in various types of incidents on the South Side of Pittsburgh were involved.

Earlier this week, Aaron Donald was accused of assaulting another man in an after-hours club on the South Side.

(Courtesy photo by Todd Hollis)

DeVincent Spriggs claimed the attack occurred during the night hours on April 10th and 11th, but Donald’s attorney later claimed that his client not only did not attack Spriggs, but actually saved him from further injury.

WATCH: Surveillance video of an incident involving Aaron Donald

Apology issued

After the surveillance video of the incident was released, Spriggs’ attorney apologized to Donald on behalf of his client, saying Spriggs had mistaken Donald for someone else.

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There are currently no charges against anyone, and Spriggs’ attorney tells KDKA that they have no plans to bring any lawsuits against anyone.

“Almost a war zone out there”

When news of the allegations against Aaron Donald hit local and national headlines, former NFL punter and native Plum Pat McAfee discussed the South Side and its reputation on his radio show.

In an October 2020 video segment when McAfee interviewed former Steelers player Ike Taylor, McAfee referred to the need to “keep your head down there on a vortex”.

Got knocked on Carson Street in south Pittsburgh?

Yinz has to know DAHN before … It’s the WILD WEST there.

Here is pic.twitter.com/wYUpxQenbb from October last year

– Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) April 14, 2021

McAfee described the south side in a new segment of his show and called it “Bourbon Street, but bigger”.

When comparing Pittsburgh’s popular travel destination with places like Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Broadway in Nashville, a similar stretch in Chicago, and Greektown in Detroit, McAfee said the south side was the longest, but said the south side was also the longest be the “coarsest”.

One man claims that Aaron Donald punched him in the face in an off-hours bar on the South Side of Pittsburgh.

If you’ve ever heard me talk about the south side of Pittsburgh before you hear me say you need to keep your head on a vortex #PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/UcFGUUUCmG

– Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) April 14, 2021

McAfee also described what the wee hours of the morning can be on the south side. (Warning: Explicit Language)

A Yinzer is a hard working, drinking, tough son of a bitch. They talk fast, talk shit, probably come out a little negative and expect you to send one back and then keep it moving #PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/hFOK1lqRTO

– Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) April 14, 2021

Describing the building of the South Side along with a reputation the Pittsburghers are known for, McAfee said, “You can see the potential at 1am, 2am, 3am, 4am. It’s almost a war zone out there. “

However, Aaron Donald is far from being the first Pittsburgh athlete to find himself in controversy on the South Side of Pittsburgh.

Numerous former Steelers players, coaches and a Pitt player make headlines along Carson Street, among other things.

Repealed after an arrest

In December 2019, Kameron Kelly was arrested after refusing to leave Mario’s South Side Saloon.

He was also charged with threatening an employee and then defying an officer’s attempts to handcuff him.

(Image credit: Allegheny County)

Kelly was cut off by the Steelers after the arrest.

Arrested after a playoff game

In 2017, former Steelers player and assistant coach Joey Porter was arrested hours after winning a playoff game against the Miami Dolphins at Heinz Field.

Porter, an outside linebacker trainer with the Steelers at the time, was arrested outside The Flats after he was accused of assaulting a doorman and an off duty police officer who were working on a security detail.

Aaron Donald

(Source: Allegheny County Jail)

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Porter was sent to prison and was initially charged with aggravated assault, ordinary assault, resistance to arrest, disorderly conduct, and public drunkenness.

(Photo credit: KDKA)

After the arrest, Porter was given leave of absence from the team.

After reviewing the surveillance video of the incident, the Allegheny District Attorney’s Office scaled back the charges and only pursued the indictment of disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.

After the fees were reduced, Porter’s status on the team was restored.

Stabbed on the south side

In 2013, former Steelers offensive lineman Mike Adams was stabbed to death in an attempted carjacking on East Carson Street.

Adams was stabbed in the stomach and forearm and operated on at UPMC Mercy Hospital.

Me and my husband @ rkay85 relax! #roadtorecovery pic.twitter.com/FXDkWsEQ76

– Mike Adams (@ Channel75live) June 1, 2013

The two men charged with stabbing were convicted a year later.

An early morning Joy Ride

In 2012, Steeler’s rookie Alameda Ta’amu had a busy night on the South Side.

(Image credit: Joe Deasy)

Ta’amu was arrested early Sunday morning after he was accused of:

  • Leading police in a chase
  • Driving drunk
  • Crash into parked cars
  • To hurt a woman
  • We need four officers to hold him back before we are taken into custody.

(Photo credit: KDKA)

Ta’amu faced 15 charges and was banned from the Steelers for two games.

The Steelers released Ta’amu about a month later, but the team said the release had nothing to do with his arrest.

Several months later, Ta’amu reached a plea deal, admitting guilt to DUI and ruthlessly endangering the welfare of others while the more serious aggravated assault charges were dropped.

Ta’amu was sentenced to four days in prison on an alternative program and served 18 months probation.

Thrown through a glass door

In 2010, Pitt’s Defensive End and current NFL player Jabaal Sheard were involved in a fight on East Carson Street.

Sheard was sprayed with pepper by the police after fighting another man and throwing the man through the glass door to an art gallery.

Sheard was jailed for aggravated assault.

Sheard was suspended after Pitt’s arrest, but reinstated after pleading guilty to downgrading the misconduct charge.

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