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fordfixer
04-15-2009, 11:31 PM
Bob Wolfley | SportsDay

Dekker states his case

Posted: Apr. 15, 2009 9:09 p.m.

http://www.jsonline.com/sports/43074997.html

If you hear the ominous term "obstruction of justice" you might think of something like high level political skulduggery.

What you do not think of is that term connected in any way to a Pittsburgh Steelers tight end who starred for Thomas More High School and Princeton who has never been tagged with as much as a speeding ticket.

But there it was in a news story just eight days before the Steelers were to play the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, Florida.

Greenfield's Jon Dekker was arrested in the early morning hours of Jan. 24,in Alexandria, Va., and charged with obstruction of justice.

Police responded to a complaint near Old Town Alexandria, and Dekker fled but was apprehended.

This is not the kind of news you want be giving your employer just before one of the biggest games in the history of a storied franchise.

The last thing you want to be during Super Bowl week is a distraction. The second-to-last thing you want to be during Super Bowl week is an embarrassment to your team.

It's probably impossible for a third-year player who missed all of the 2008 season on injured reserve with a knee injury to become a distraction.

But Dekker in the aftermath of the incident was dreading the notion of being considered an embarrassment for his club.

"It was the worst week of my life," Dekker said during a phone interview on Wednesday.

In Alexandria on Wednesday, April 8, a judge found Dekker not guilty of the obstruction of justice charge.

Consider this a two-minute version of what happened that led to the charge.

According to Dekker, 25, he and a college buddy were out Friday night in Washington, D.C. They took cabs the entire night.

The last cab ride was to Dekker's friend's house. His friend told Dekker to just let himself in the house. The buddy said he would pay the fare. He did not have the money, but said he would tell the driver to take him to a nearby ATM.

There was a dispute of some kind between the cabbie and the buddy. Police were called. Four showed up. Dekker got a call on his cell phone to come out of the house and help settle the fare. He came out. The police questioned Dekker as if he was part of the dispute, rather than a bystander.

"They were treating me like I had committed a crime," Dekker said. "I just said I wanted to pay the fare."

Dekker recalled the amount of the fare around $30. But the police were talking in figures three times as high.

"I tried to engage in a discussion with them about that, but then they threatened me with arrest," Dekker said

The dialog did not go well. Dekker did what you shouldn't do in such a circumstance. He took his 6-foot-5, 250-pound frame and bolted.

"I panicked," Dekker said. "I had never been in a situation like that before. My career and the media attention a week before the Super Bowl just flashed before my eyes. I panicked, and I ran. Running was wrong, obviously."

Dekker said he called the Steelers right away to let them know what happened.

He was allowed to join his teammates on Friday in Tampa. He was glad he got to skip media day.

Dekker said he apologized to the owners of the Steelers, the Rooney family.

"They were very supportive of me," Dekker said. "Being there three years, they knew what kind of person I was."

The charges against Dekker's friend are pending with a court date set for May 4.

Dekker is relieved the incident is over.

"I know I am a good kid," Dekker said. "I know who I am. I know my family does. But when people see that in the paper, and they don't know the whole story it's hard.

Mister Pittsburgh
04-16-2009, 07:24 AM
Sounds like a tough situation. Wonder if they give him a second chance.

Iron Shiek
04-16-2009, 12:32 PM
What a boneheaded move. He would've been fine. I can't imagine having cops around and being like..."F**k this, I'm out!" and start running.

Sugar
04-16-2009, 01:01 PM
What a boneheaded move. He would've been fine. I can't imagine having cops around and being like..."F**k this, I'm out!" and start running.

I can 8)

Oviedo
04-16-2009, 02:00 PM
Moot point because Dekker has no value to the Steelers. I'm sure the Arizona
"wanna bes" would be glad to sign him.

Mel Blount's G
04-17-2009, 12:12 AM
Interesting that he is implying that the cops were acting quite inappropriately and possibly illegally by wanting more than the $30 cab fare and threatening to arrest Dekker when he asked about that :?