Okobi to face trial after South Side brawl

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Former Steelers player Chukky Okobi was held for trial on a misdemeanor charge of simple assault that stemmed from a South Side brawl following a preliminary hearing Thursday.

A district judge dismissed four other misdemeanor charges of simple assault for the 33-year-old former center, whose legal name is Chukwanweze Okobi.

According to a criminal complaint, Mr. Okobi was yelling at his girlfriend, Christine Nasca, while selling T-shirts at Bar Room in Station Square. Concerned for her safety, several people intervened and Mr. Okobi lashed out at them, punching a man in the face, another woman in the gut and putting another man in a headlock. The woman was taken to UPMC Mercy after complaining she couldn't breath.

At the hearing, Mr. Okobi testified he was venting about a problem unrelated to his girlfriend, not yelling at her. He claimed that one man, Blair Ferguson, shoved him after Mr. Ferguson's sister came over to tell Mr. Okobi to "calm down," and that he defended himself. He said that others then attacked him, punching and kicking him.

Mr. Ferguson said he feared Mr. Okobi would hit his sister, and put his arms out to stop him. Mr. Ferguson was also charged with harassment in connection with the altercation. He was found guilty Thursday and ordered to pay an $100 fine.

Mr. Okobi is scheduled to be formally arraigned Dec. 13.



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