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Monday, January 9, 2017

Following arrest, media lists Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Joey Porter's past legal trouble but ignore those of the arresting officer

Posted By on Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 6:19 PM

Joey Porter - CITY PAPER FILE PHOTO
  • City Paper File Photo
  • Joey Porter
By now you've most likely learned that Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebackers coach Joey Porter was arrested Sunday evening following the Steelers' playoff victory over the Miami Dolphins. According to ESPN, the former Steelers player was arrested outside of a bar in the South Side after an altercation with a bouncer and off-duty police officer Paul Abel.

The team has placed Porter on leave during the investigation.

According to ESPN's article and other local publications like the Pittsburgh Tribune Review and Pittsburgh Post Gazette, this isn't Porter's first run in with the law. Porter was arrested under suspicion of drunken driving, assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest in California in 2010. And according to the Trib, "In September 2006, Porter was cited when two of his dogs got loose from his Pine home and killed a miniature horse at a neighbor's farm."

But the articles fail to add that this isn't Pittsburgh Police Officer Abel's first high-profile altercation either. In 2008, Abel was arrested on charges that he pistol-whipped and accidentally shot a man he mistook for someone that he had an altercation with in a bar. He was also allegedly intoxicated and had been driving drunk. While Abel was initially suspended without pay, Judge Jeffrey Manning cleared him of criminal wrongdoing although he said, according to the Post-Gazette that Abel's actions were "inappropriate, imprudent and ill-advised." Even though he was trying to detain the wrong man, Abel said he was trying to make an arrest, not retaliate. Manning said, "It is not the obligation of this court to police the police department." As we're sure you can deduce, Abel went back to work on the police force. The city, however, paid the victim, Kaleb Miller, a $44,500 settlement.

Abel was also the subject of at least three other complaints made to the Pittsburgh Citizens Police review board. One involved Abel's wife alleging that her husband forced her to accuse the grandparents of her children of sexual abuse during a custody dispute. Another involved Abel fighting with his brother-in-law in the hallway of the Allegheny County Courthouse and still another alleged that Abel slammed a man's head into a wall when he asked the officer not to shoot his grandfather with a Taser. No criminal charges have ever been filed in any of the cases.

According to a report filed by Abel in the Saturday incident, the officer attempted to restrain Porter after the Steelers coach lifted Flats on Carson doorman Jon Nesgow off the ground. Abel says Porter than grabbed him by the wrists, after which Abel called for backup and Porter was arrested.

According to the report Abel was wearing a body camera but he didn't turn it on until after he was grabbed by Porter.

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