Steelers lineman tells jury how he was stabbed on the South Side

Mike Adams couldn't remember exactly how many drinks he had or what bars he'd gone to.

The Steelers offensive lineman wasn't sure what time he arrived on the South Side the evening of June 1 or even all the different types of drinks he had that led to a 0.185 blood alcohol level.

But what he did remember was being sucker-punched in the left side of his face and stabbed in his lower right abdomen.

"It felt like I'd been hit in the stomach," he testified Wednesday. "It all happened so fast. I didn't really understand what was happening. I was in shock."

As the Steeler was repeatedly questioned by defense attorneys about his alcohol consumption, Mr. Adams answered calmly, "I didn't take count of all I was drinking. I didn't think I was going to get stabbed because someone was trying to steal my car and [then] have to testify."

Mr. Adams spent more than three hours on the stand testifying against the three men he believes attacked him.

Dquay Means, 26, Jerrell Whitlock, 27, and Michael Paranay, 26, all of Hazelwood, are charged with attempted homicide, conspiracy and attempted robbery of a motor vehicle.

Their trial began Tuesday.

Mr. Adams said he had just finished eating a Jimmy John's Gargantuan sub inside his Ford F-150 Raptor about 3 a.m., when he exited the truck to walk to a friend's house. He had used the valet service at Nakama Japanese Steakhouse earlier, and his truck was parked at 17th and Carson streets.

Mr. Adams testified that a man said to him, " 'What's up? Is that your truck?' "

When Mr. Adams responded "Yeah," the other man, later identified as Mr. Means, said, " 'Give it up.' "

"I said, 'What do you mean, 'give it up?' "

Mr. Adams said Mr. Means and another man, later identified as Mr. Whitlock, stood in front of him, and Mr. Means showed him a semi-automatic handgun in his waistband.

It was then, he said, that he noticed a third man, Mr. Paranay, standing on the foot rail of his truck, jumping up and down on it.

During cross-examination, Mr. Adams acknowledged he'd been drinking for several hours before the incident and said he was intoxicated, but that he "had full awareness of what was going on."

The defense told the jury during opening statements Tuesday that no one attempted to steal Mr. Adams' truck and, instead, there was a fight after Mr. Adams bumped into Mr. Paranay and knocked his food out of his hand.

Moeun McSwiggen, who owns Cambod-Ican Kitchen near where the incident occurred, testified that she went outside the restaurant to take a break about 3 a.m. and saw Mr. Paranay screaming at Mr. Adams. He was using racial epithets, she said, and she heard him say, "I'll kill you."

She also saw Mr. Adams raise his hands in front of him defensively and say, "Is this for real?"

That's when Mr. Paranay punched him and then ran away, Ms. McSwiggen testified. Mr. Paranay returned hours later, she said, looking for his cell phone, which she had found right after the stabbing and turned over to police.

Paula Reed Ward: or 412-263-2620. First Published April 23, 2014 1:36 PM


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