Pittsburgh Steelers rookie defensive lineman Alameda Ta’amu was arrested early Sunday morning following a drunken melee through Pittsburgh’s South Side that left one woman injured and several vehicles damaged.
Ta’amu, a fourth-round draft pick this year, is facing misdemeanor and felony charges of fleeing police, aggravated assault while driving drunk and three counts of aggravated assault for nearly running down three police officers. He was arrested during a traffic stop, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Ta’amu is a 22-year-old reserve nose tackle from Kent, Wash.Yep, buddy, you’re in the big leagues now. Guess he figured since the team wasn’t playing on Sunday, he could go ahead and party!
A Pittsburgh emergency dispatch supervisor said police tried to pull Ta’amu over at about 2:30 a.m. after an off-duty detective saw him driving recklessly and called the police. He fled and police finally caught him after he crashed his 2006 Lincoln Navigator into several parked cars.
Ta’amu also faces 10 misdemeanor charges, including drunken driving, resisting arrest, attempting escape and failure to obey traffic laws. The police report said a woman, Jennifer Kosko, 22, suffered “serious bodily injury” after he crashed into her parked car. Kosko told the Post-Gazette she ended up with a “big lump on the head.”
The detective who called in the report said the vehicle “was swerving across the double-yellow lines…and passing several vehicles at a time. The vehicle was running red lights and speeding in the East Carson entertainment district, which has thousands of intoxicated pedestrians walking on the streets and sidewalks.”
Police said an officer working an off-duty detail at the bar also saw the vehicle and shouted for the driver to halt. Ta’amu swerved the vehicle and almost hit the officer, police said, before speeding away in the wrong lane of traffic. And the report said two other officers, also working off-duty at bars, also drew their guns and also had to dive out of the way so he wouldn’t run over them.
He continued driving down the busy street, a popular bar and restaurant district in Pittsburgh, while police officers chased him on foot, and finally the chase ended when he hit too many parked cars and disabled the Navigator. He then started to run away, and officers finally caught up with him. When he refused to put his arm behind his back, an officer punched him twice and then used two sets of handcuffs on him.
Ta’amu is 6’3” and weighs 348, so police had to use the police wagon to take him to the Allegheny County Jail. He blew a .196 blood alcohol level, more than twice the legal limit.
Steelers officials refused comment about his future with the team.