PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Steelers say they have decided to reinstate assistant coach Joey Porter, a decision that is upsetting the arresting officer in the case.
Paul Abel, the Pittsburgh Police Officer who arrested Joey Porter talked exclusively with KDKA’s Marty Griffin.
In an interview on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA Abel told Marty that having the charges dismissed is troubling but he understands it happens.
“I’m a little upset that my victim, the guy who was working the door at the bar he’s not getting a say so, and I think that’s troubling,” Abel said.
Griffin asked Able what the video showing Porter throwing the bouncer off the steps of the bar.
Marty: You see on the video Joey Porter picking up a bouncer and tossing him off the front steps?
Marty: You do very clearly?
Officer Abel says what upsets him the most is that his victim deserves his day in court.
“I’m just really upset that my victim, my job is for my victim, my victims deserve their day, it just upsets me.”
Abel said that Porter may have apologized to reporters, but that he never apologized to him.
“I didn’t hear him apologize to the guy who wouldn’t let him in the bar, he really wanted to go in that bar, I think that’s who he should have been apologizing here,” Abel told Griffin.
The officer says he feels very disrespected and actually wants to withdraw all the charges against Porter now.
“I feel very disrespected, I actually want to withdraw all the charges now, because why, let you guys see it and let you guys judge,” Abel said.
Officer Abel said he is coming forward to talk about the incident because the victim deserves a say and he wanted to thank all his supporters.
Here Marty Griffin’s Exclusive Full Interview here:
Additionally, Acting Police Chief Scott Schubert said he stands by his officer and the charges as originally filed.
“I believe, based on the laws and what Officer Abel experienced, that he filed the appropriate charges,” Schubert said. “I think what he dealt with he handled and he filed the charges he felt were necessary and I think officer put in the same shoes would do the same.”
The announcement to reinstate Porter was made by the Steelers Friday morning.
Through a statement from team president, Art Rooney II. He says Porter will return to the coaching staff for the playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs coming up this Sunday.
The full statement reads:
“At this time, we have decided that Joey Porter will return to our coaching staff for the game in Kansas City this weekend.
“We have reviewed the available information regarding the incident that took place on Sunday night. We have also reviewed the communication from the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office indicating the intention of that office to withdraw all but the summary offense charges.
“As an organization, we have great respect for the job the City of Pittsburgh Police perform for our community.
“We also respect the fact that there are ongoing legal proceedings stemming from the incident. We will await the outcome of the legal process and communicate further with the NFL regarding the Personal Conduct Policy before making any further decisions on potential discipline.”
Porter released this statement on being reinstated:
“I am grateful to be allowed to return to our coaching staff this weekend. I regret that I was involved in an incident that could have been a distraction to our team. Most importantly, I regret that I touched the police officer and I sincerely apologize for that action. Thankfully, no one was injured.”
On Thursday, the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office decided to withdrawal all but two charges filed against Porter stemming from his arrest outside a South Side bar last weekend.
The arrest happened last Sunday night, just hours after the Steelers’ win over the Miami Dolphins in the opening round of the NFL playoffs. Following the incident, the team put him on leave.
Porter was originally charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and public drunkenness. But the District Attorney’s Office said Thursday that they have reviewed surveillance video, and Porter will only face summary disorderly conduct and summary public drunkenness counts.
Porter’s attorney commented on the case after the news that the charges would be reduced.
“I’ve reviewed the video also. It is HD quality, and it captures the whole of the episode,” Porter’s attorney, Robert Del Greco, said, “and they determined even at a low threshold, that the charges that were filed were unwarranted.”
KDKA’s Marty Griffin talked with Del Greco on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA Friday morning. Del Greco said that Porter received “no special treatment.” Listen to the entire interview below:
However, FOP President Bob Swartzwelder called the reduced charges “outrageous.”
“Quite interesting that the charges against a person arrested were altered before a preliminary hearing,” Swartzwelder said. “And secondly, I would hope every other criminal defendant could expect such expedient justice… or is there something else going on here?”
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.