The Pittsburgh Steelers placed assistant coach Joey Porter on leave Monday after he was charged with assault in an incident at a bar hours after the team’s NFL playoff win over Miami.
Porter, 39, was arraigned early Monday morning on a felony aggravated assault charge along with counts of simple assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and trespassing. He was released from jail on a $25,000 bond.
‘We are continuing to gather information concerning Sunday night’s incident involving Joey Porter,’ Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement. ‘We have been and will continue to be in communication with the NFL as is required by the Personal Conduct Policy.’
‘Pending further review, Joey Porter has been placed on leave. At this time, we will move forward with our preparations for the Divisional Round playoff game at Kansas City.’
The altercation took place at The Flats on Carson about 9:30pm on Sunday, just hours after the Steelers’ 30-12 home victory over the Dolphins in the opening round of the NFL playoffs.
According to a criminal complaint, officer Paul Abel was working security at another nearby bar when he was told by an off-duty officer the doorman at the bar was being threatened by a Steeler.
Abel said he arrived to find the doorman refusing to let Porter – who appeared to be intoxicated – into the club.
‘Last time you were here, you threatened to kill me,’ Abel overheard the doorman saying to Porter. ‘You need to leave. You are not getting in.’ Police didn’t immediately explain the context of the remark, but online court records don’t show any charges relating to such an incident.
Abel, the 5-foot-6, 145-pound officer who filed the complaint, said Porter, 6-foot-3 and 260 pounds, ignored him when he asked what was going on and grabbed him by the arms and lifted him off the ground. The doorman, described as 6-foot and 195 pounds, wasn’t aggressive with Porter and had his hands in his pockets, according to the complaint.
Abel said he pulled Porter away from the doorman, according to the complaint. That’s when Porter grabbed the officer’s wrists ‘so tightly that I could not pull them away from him, no matter how hard I tried,’ the officers said in the complaint.
Porter backed away but then refused to put his hands behind his back.
Porter eventually allowed himself to be handcuffed but yelled, ‘You’re lying, I never touched you,’ as Abel arrested him, the complaint said.
Porter was charged with aggravated assault on the officer, simple assault on the doorman, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, defiant trespass and public drunkenness.
Physical contact with a police officer is automatically charged as aggravated assault in Pennsylvania, even if the nature of the alleged conduct would constitute simple assault against a regular citizen.
Porter, in his third season on the team’s coaching staff, was a star linebacker for the Steelers from 1999-2006 and played in 13 NFL seasons.
After their 30-12 win over the Dolphins in Pittsburgh in the first round of the playoffs on Sunday, the Steelers will travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs next weekend.
Pittsburgh Steelers assistant coach Joey Porter has been charged with assaulting a doorman at a bar and a police officer who intervened hours after the team’s wild card win over the Miami Dolphins.
Last year, Porter also made headlines during the playoffs for an on-field altercation during Pittsburgh’s postseason victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, according to SB Nation.
He was fined $10,000 for his role in the incident.
And this is not the former NFL star’s first run-in with the law.
In 2010, he was arrested for suspicion of drunken driving and an accusation of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest, according to ESPN, but the charges were eventually dropped.
Porter, the Steelers’ outside linebackers coach, spent 13 seasons as a linebacker with Pittsburgh, Miami and Arizona.
He went to the Pro Bowl four times, three with the Steelers, while playing there from 1999 to 2006, and once with Miami. He also starred on the Steelers’ 2006 Super Bowl team.