Assault charges withdrawn against 3 Pitt football players after community service

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Assault charges were withdrawn today against three University of Pittsburgh football players after they completed community service.

Running back Ray Graham, 22, of Elizabeth, N.J.; wide receiver Devin Street, 22, of Bethlehem, Pa.; and defensive back Lafayette Pitts, 20, of East Pittsburgh, were charged via summons with assault, conspiracy and disorderly conduct last fall after police said they surrounded a man in Oakland and one of them punched the man in the head.

All three pleaded guilty in non-traffic court to the disorderly conduct, while their assault and conspiracy charges were withdrawn.

Pittsburgh police wrote in a criminal complaint that they were working an overtime detail early Oct. 21 when they tried to disperse a crowd from the intersection of Oakland Avenue and Bates Street and three people remained in the roadway.

One those people, Karl Olsheski, told police he had just been assaulted. He refused medical treatment and said he did not want to file a report, saying he just wanted officers to stop the man who had punched him, according to the criminal complaint.

In an interview with police, Mr. Olsheski said he was walking in Oakland with two women when Graham stopped him, said, "What's up?" and uttered a racial slur.

Olsheski said he replied "nothing" and tried to leave, but Mr. Graham, Mr. Street and Mr. Pitts surrounded him and then Mr. Street slugged him on the left side of the head, according to the criminal complaint.

The Allegheny County district attorney's office agreed to withdraw the assault and conspiracy charges in exchange for the community service.

Mike Manko, a spokesman for the district attorney's office, said the office consulted with Mr. Olsheski before agreeing to that arrangement.

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Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com and on Twitter: @liznavratil.


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