CANONSBURG (KDKA) – Two California University football players were in court on Monday.
Linebacker Darnell Harding and defensive back Toni Whiteleather are charged with assaulting two fellow students back on March 17 near a bar off campus.
Alleged victim Michael Chambers says he’s had thousands of dollars in medical expenses since the incident.
“It’s about a thousand dollars out of pocket after the insurance,” Chambers said. “It was like $10,000 before that.”
The judge indicated he was not happy to see the football players, saying, “You guys are supposed to be role models in the community, not up here for a trial in my courtroom.”
The players’ attorney says they’re willing to make restitution. He attributed the incident to St. Patrick’s Day revelry.
“This is a St. Patrick’s Day situation,” said defense attorney D. Scott Lautner. “It’s just gone awry. Both people are willing to take responsibility for their actions and take care of it. Quite frankly, I wish it would have stayed at this level, but that’s not what happened.”
The players were held for trial, but the only felony charge, that of ethnic intimidation was dropped, apparently because the witness, who allegedly heard Harding say he was going to mess with the next white person he saw, was not subpoenaed.
The dropping of the charge came as a surprise to the families.
The players waived a hearing on the other charges of assault and disorderly conduct. The players also face possible discipline from California University.
The waiving of the preliminary hearing means the case will go to trial with the remaining charges. That trial date has not been set.