Former Pitt football player Rashad Weaver, who was drafted by the Tennessee Titans over the weekend, has been charged with one count of simple assault in connection with an April incident on the South Side.
The criminal complaint against Mr. Weaver, 23, was filed in Pittsburgh’s magisterial district court Friday.
According to the criminal complaint, police officers found a woman lying on the ground surrounded by a group of people at 2:28 a.m. April 18 on South 17th Street between East Carson and Bingham streets.
Those at the scene said a large man, later identified as Mr. Weaver, punched the woman, Demetria Navjelis. Mr. Weaver was not at the scene when officers arrived. Ms. Navjelis was checked by a medic and released.
One witness said she saw Mr. Weaver punch Ms. Navjelis. Another witness said she did not see Mr. Weaver punch Ms. Navjelis but did see her fall to the ground. Officer Anderson O’Kelly noted in the complaint that he observed no injury consistent with a punch to the head.
Mr. Weaver’s attorney, Dennis M. Blackwell of The Blackwell Law Firm, released the following statement:
“The allegations against my client, Rashad Weaver, are completely false and reckless. Mr. Weaver takes these charges very seriously, and we look forward to clearing his good name. Without question and without hesitation, we deny Rashad punched anyone, especially a woman. We intend to conduct a full investigation of these charges, and intend to pursue all legal remedies available to Rashad.”
Five minutes prior to the incident, Mr. Weaver and Ms. Navjelis got into an argument at the Foxtail bar at 1601 E. Carson St., according to the complaint. Officer O’Kelly and other officers separated Mr. Weaver and Ms. Navjelis after he said she spilled a drink on him. Ms. Navjelis later told officers that she threw her drink at him during the argument.
Ms. Navjelis and her friends left the bar and headed toward South 17th Street. Mr. Weaver left and went down South 16th Street. Before leaving the bar, Mr. Weaver “stated to other officers on scene that he had no problem hitting a female if they needed it,” according to the complaint.
Officer O’Kelly contacted Ms. Navjelis on April 25 about the incident. She said she went to Ohio Valley Hospital on April 22 because she was vomiting. At the hospital, she was diagnosed with a concussion, according to the complaint.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 5 at Pittsburgh Municipal Court.
Mr. Weaver, a native of Cooper City, Fla., was in South Florida for this weekend’s NFL draft, according to a video posted on the Titans’ Twitter account.
Mr. Weaver, a consensus All-American defensive end last season, was selected by the Titans on Saturday afternoon. He went 135th overall in the fourth round, making him Pitt’s second-highest drafted player of the weekend.
In nine games last season, Mr. Weaver recorded 14.5 tackles for loss, leading the ACC with 1.61 TFLs per game. He also tallied 12 hurries, 7.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.
The Titans released the following statement to local reporters on Monday afternoon: “We were made aware of this news this morning. We obviously take this seriously and are in the process of gathering details and working with the league.”
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