Reporting Bob Allen
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Pittsburgh Steelers’ rookie is facing serious charges following his arrest overnight on the South Side following a pursuit that left one person injured and several cars damaged.
According to the criminal complaint, Alameda Ta’amu is facing a long list of charges including fleeing or attempting to elude police, driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, aggravated assault by a vehicle while DUI, aggravated assault, resisting arrest and escape.
Pittsburgh Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert released this statement Sunday morning: “We are disappointed to hear about the situation regarding Alameda Ta’amu. We will gather more facts before providing any further comment.”
Ta’amu – the six-foot-three, 348-pound nose tackle – is 22-years-old and hails from Kent, Wash., according to the Steelers website. He was the Steelers’ 2012 fourth-round draft pick.
The incident reportedly happened around 2:30 a.m. The criminal complaint reports several vehicles were damaged in the incident and one woman had to be taken to the hospital.
According to the criminal complaint, it all started when an off-duty officer in his personal vehicle began following a 2006 Lincoln Navigator that was allegedly driving recklessly, “swerving across the double-yellow lines along E. Carson Street and passing several vehicles at a time.”
Another officer, dressed in his full police uniform and working an off-duty detail at a South Side bar, approached the vehicle as it slowed down for traffic. The criminal complaint reports that officer “drew his handgun and stated: ‘Police! Stop the vehicle!’ as he approached.”
According to court documents, the officer then had to dive out of the way as the vehicle swerved and then took off “speeding outbound in the wrong lane of traffic.”
The criminal complaint goes on to report that two other officers, also in full uniform and working off-duty details at South Side bars, attempted to pull the vehicle over.
According to the criminal complaint, “both officers drew their guns and gave multiple commands for the driver to stop but Alameda Ta’amu continued driving towards them. Neither officer fired their weapons in self-defense due to the large number of pedestrians and motorists on the sidewalks and roadways.”
Both also had to dive out of the way to avoid being hit, investigators said.
The vehicle turned onto S. 14th Street and then crossed onto Sarah Street. That’s when, according to court papers, the Navigator crashed into a parked Saturn Ion. The woman who was driving that car was injured. She was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital with a head injury.
“I hit my head on the windshield, so I have a big bump and a little bruise, and then my jaw hurts a little bit, so I have to get that checked out,” the woman, who did not want to be identified, told KDKA’s Bob Allen. “And then, my friend, she has a bruise on her knee; a bump and a bruise and a cut on her knee.”
Meanwhile, the criminal complaint reports police continued to chase the Navigator on foot. The vehicle then struck two other parked vehicles, pushing one forward into another car.
“He hit three or four cars,” said Zach Carr, a witness. “He was just pinballing up the street, apparently; I mean, tow trucks were here, for hours.”
According to the criminal complaint, Ta’amu exited the Navigator after hitting a fourth car and began fleeing the scene on foot along S. 14th Street with officer ordering him to stop.
“Climbed over the hood of a car and started running, and took off down the street,” said Lauren Tesauro, a neighbor. “I tried to yell to him to stop.”
Officers caught up to Ta’amu in a parking pad next to 38 Uxor Way, court papers report.
While placing him under arrest, the criminal complaint reports “Ta’amu ripped his opposite arm away” from an officer, and then “tucked the arm along his body and appeared to be reaching with his free hand towards his waist band.”
According to the criminal complaint, one of the officers then punched the suspect twice in the face when he refused to put his arm behind his back. Police then used two sets of handcuffs to take him into custody.
Ta’amu was given a breath test and then taken to the Allegheny County Jail.
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.
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