The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

April 4, 2013

Steelers’ Ta’amu gets probation in drunken crashes

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu was sentenced Thursday to 18 months of probation after pleading guilty to reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and drunken driving stemming from a series of crashes and a police chase last fall.

He’ll also have to spend four days in a program that’s an alternative to jail, sometimes known as a DUI hotel.

Ta’amu crashed into several cars on the city’s South Side, a neighborhood known for bars and night clubs, then ran from officers who responded, police said. Allegheny County Judge Anthony Mariani found Ta’amu not guilty Thursday of fleeing from police after Ta’amu explained that he thought an officer in an unmarked car was an angry motorist chasing him.

“I was a rookie and I was scared. I was a Steeler and I was drunk driving,” Ta’amu told the judge. “I wrecked my car and I panicked.”

The Steelers released the 22-year-old fourth-round draft pick a few weeks after he was arrested Oct. 14 but later re-signed him to the practice squad.

Ta’amu was sentenced after pleading guilty to three counts of recklessly endangering another person, resisting arrest and drunken driving. He must also pay nearly $11,000 in damage he caused to the cars.

County prosecutors withdrew felony charges of aggravated assault with a vehicle, and Ta’amu apologized.

“I know what I’ve done is wrong,” Ta’amu said. “I’d do anything to make it right. What I did affected my whole family. I’ve got to keep learning from my mistakes. So far, I think I’ve done a good job of staying away” from alcohol.

Ta’amu will take alcohol highway safety classes and group behavior counseling when he spends the four days in the DUI housing program. He must also complete 150 hours of community service.

“You shouldn’t be treated any more harshly, but you shouldn’t be dealt with a lighter hand because you’re a Pittsburgh Steeler,” the judge said.

Defense attorney Robert DelGreco Jr. said Ta’amu enrolled in the NFL’s substance abuse policy after his arrest, which subjects him to urine tests two to three times a week.

“He’s said he was sorry and has expressed that sentiment ever since,” DelGreco said. “He is dedicated to making things right.”

 

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • racin 0416 Jennerstown Speedway gearing for May open

    Jennerstown Speedway released a very ambitious schedule on its website and continues to prepare for its 2014 reopening.
    The track is set to hold a practice day for drivers as well as an open house and media day on April 26.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘Hawks already building toward next season

    Jason Spence used up his cell phone’s battery on a trip from Johnstown to his parents’ home in Nova Scotia, Canada.
    Once the Johnstown Tomahawks coach got to his destination, Spence had to get creative to secure cell service across the border.

    April 16, 2014

  • Pirates 0416 Dominant Cueto drops Pirates in matinee

    That playoff loss in Pittsburgh last year? Johnny Cueto never thought about it much. So getting a chance to shut out the Pirates in a rematch wasn’t any more special.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0416 Penguins rally to wear out Jackets

    Brandon Sutter scored on a wrist shot from the left circle 8:18 into the third period, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins rally for a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Wednesday night.
    Beau Bennett and Matt Niskanen scored power-play goals 45 seconds apart in the second period, erasing Pittsburgh’s two-goal deficit.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shelley and McElligot Series serves as reunion for former Chiefs personnel

    Not so long ago, Bob McElligott, like most Western Pennsylvania hockey fans, would savor a long Pittsburgh Penguins playoff run.
    The Somerset native followed the Pens’ Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1991 and 1992.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malkin nearing return

    The Columbus Blue Jackets are the closest NHL team to the Pittsburgh Penguins, at least geographically. The two franchises are separated by 185 miles of highway.

    April 15, 2014

  • Reds swing way past Pirates

    Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night, ending Gerrit Cole's winning streak and leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed two days full of homers and delays.
    First, the NL Central rivals completed a game that was suspended in the sixth inning because of rain the previous night.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pitt ends its spring practices

    No tailgating.
    No trip to a local high school.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pirates Game 1 0415 Pirates edge out Reds in suspended game

    After all those home runs and an overnight delay, it was settled by a single.
    Andrew McCutchen doubled and came around on Russell Martin’s single in the seventh inning on Tuesday, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates an 8-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the completion of a game that spanned two days and 10 home runs.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • track_B1 WestPAC relays go to Windber boys, Berlin girls

    Rain showers and dropping temperatures put a damper on Monday’s WestPAC Relays at Berlin Brothersvalley High School.
    For the Berlin girls and the boys from Windber, however, discomfort was not much of a factor.
    The Mountaineers won their third straight relay title while the Ramblers reclaimed the title from defending champ Shade.

    April 14, 2014 2 Photos