Ex-Pitt football player waives hearing in Greenfield bank robbery case

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A former University of Pittsburgh football player accused in a Greenfield bank robbery last week will proceed to trial on all charges.

Court records show Jovani Chappel, 25, of Hazelwood, waived a preliminary hearing scheduled for this morning on four felony counts of robbery. A misdemeanor count of accidents involving damage to attended vehicle/property was added today as well.

Mr. Chappel's attorney, Eric A. Fischer, had no comment on behalf of his client, who he said has been released from jail after posting $50,000 bond.

Pittsburgh police said that on Aug. 26 a masked man threatened tellers at the PNC Bank branch in the 4300 block of Murray Avenue with a gun, jumped over the counter and demanded cash.

A witness took note of the license plate number of the getaway car and gave it to police, who traced it to Mr. Chappel's girlfriend's home, police said.

Mr. Chappel was arrested after police saw him sitting on the front porch of a home about two blocks from where they had sent a special weapons and tactics team to search houses for him.

Police took Mr. Chappel to police headquarters for questioning, and according to court documents, he "voluntarily admitted to his involvement in the bank robbery."

At Pitt, Mr. Chappel played in 37 games over a four-year career as a defensive back from 2006-09. He made 123 tackles and two interceptions.

As a senior, he led the Panthers with 10 pass breakups, but was not selected in the 2010 National Football League draft after his graduation.

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Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1944 and on Twitter: @borntolede.


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