Three University of Pittsburgh football players have been charged with simple assault and conspiracy in connection with an incident last month involving three other students, one of whom reported he was hit in the head during a brief confrontation on the street.
Online court records don’t list attorneys for the players charged in the complaint filed by city police on Thursday: running back Ray Graham, receiver Devin Street and defensive back Lafayette Pitts. The players were not arrested but have been mailed summonses to appear in Pittsburgh Municipal Court for a preliminary hearing on the charges Jan. 9.
Graham, of Elizabeth, N.J., is the Panthers’ leading rusher with 622 yards and seven touchdowns. Street, of Bethlehem, is the team’s leading receiver with 50 catches for 695 yards and four scores. Pitts, of East Pittsburgh, is also the team’s top kick-returner.
It was not immediately clear if the players face team discipline for the incident or whether it will affect their availability for Saturday’s nationally televised game at Notre Dame. An athletic department spokesman didn’t immediately return a request for comment Friday.
According to the complaint, Karl Olsheski, Diana Olsheski and Samantha Mitchell told police they were walking along a street in Oakland, the neighborhood where the university is located, when a group of Pitt football players walked into their path from the opposite direction about 12:30 a.m. Oct. 21.
At the time, Karl Olsheski told police he didn’t want to see the players arrested, but did want police to stop the group ”so they wouldn’t repeat their aggressions at other pedestrians,” a criminal complaint said.
Police dispersed the groups and Olsheski and the females returned to a city police station that afternoon to report the incident in more detail. At that time, Diana Olsheski told police she recognized the players as Graham, Street and Pitts.
Karl Olsheski told police that Graham confronted him by saying, ”What’s up?” along with a racial slur. Olsheski said he tried to walk away but that Graham and Street blocked his way and Pitts kept him from retreating.
Olsheski ”stated that shortly thereafter, he was struck one time on the left side of his head by Mr. Street.”
Police tried to ensure the students identified the correct players by having them look at photo lineups. While none of the alleged victims could recognize all three players, each player was recognized by at least one, including Mitchell who recognized Street from a class they took together on vampires.
All six people allegedly involved in the incident are listed in the student directory, but none immediately responded to emails requesting comment.