Ta’amu addresses Steelers regarding arrest
By Mark Kaboly
Published: Monday, October 15, 2012
Steelers nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu during mini camp on the South Side June 2012.
Alameda Ta’amu was at the Steelers’ practice facility Monday and apologized to teammates, but the organization remains mum on what punishment the rookie defensive lineman faces in the wake of multiple felony charges following an early-morning police chase over the weekend.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin informed the team about Ta’amu’s arrest during a morning meeting, and according to some of his teammates, the 350-pound nose tackle apologized to his fellow defensive linemen during position meetings early Monday.
“I talked to him, and he was remorseful,” Casey Hampton said. “He feels really bad about it. He knows what happened was a bad thing. He made a mistake, and that’s the way I look at it, not taking away what he did because it was a terrible thing. We have to ride with him and see what happens.”
Ta’amu, 22, was driving a sport utility vehicle that hit several cars on 14th Street on the South Side and was arrested about 2:30 a.m. Sunday after a chase and scuffle in which an officer punched him twice, according to Zone 3 police.
According to the police report, Ta’amu faces felony charges of fleeing police, aggravated assault while driving drunk and three counts of aggravated assault for nearly running down three police officers.
Ta’amu also was charged with 10 misdemeanors, including resisting arrest, attempting escape, drunken driving and failure to obey traffic laws. His blood alcohol level was 0.196 percent, more than twice the legal limit, police said. Ta’amu posted $25,000 bail and was released Sunday.
“It is a serious situation. It is a dangerous situation,” safety Ryan Clark said. “You are just happy that he didn’t injure anybody or himself.”
The organization said it has no further comment regarding Ta’amu’s situation.
While his teammates said that they will continue to support Ta’amu, they also understand the severity of his actions.
“It is a very serious situation, and that’s how we are viewing it,” defensive captain Brett Keisel said. “Matters like these are touchy. I am glad I don’t have to make those decisions because they are very serious. They have a tough call to make.”
Ta’amu was the Steelers’ fourth-round pick this year out of the University of Washington. He is of Samoan descent, and his father is a retired pastor. Ta’amu made a connection with fellow Samoan Troy Polamalu.
Ta’amu, Polamalu and Clark bonded during training camp, and they routinely ate together and went to see movies.
Clark said he reached out to Ta’amu in a “nonjudgmental kind of way” Sunday, but refused to reveal details of the conversation.
“You don’t ‘Amen’ this as in it is OK to do, but you don’t throw him away,” Clark said. “You don’t exile him from the team, you don’t stop talking to him, you don’t stop being his friend because if you are family, you don’t do that. I want to help him through this and help him be part of the Pittsburgh Steelers and, if that’s possible, when he’s back, he is going to be the same brother before this happened.”
Fellow nose tackle Steve McLendon said he was surprised to hear of Ta’amu’s involvement in the incident. Ta’amu is widely regarded by his teammates as a down-to-earth family man with a pleasant demeanor.
“He has to be held accountable,” offensive tackle Max Starks said. “Something like this can happen to any of us. I am sure everybody has had the decision if you are OK (to drive or not).”
The Steelers refused to label Ta’amu’s arrest as a possible distraction.
“That’s overblown,” linebacker Larry Foote said. “We’re grown men. We’ve just got to go out there and execute.”
Apparently the Steelers are sticking with Ta'amu:
What he did was incredibly dumb, but this is an organization that will give players support and a second chance. I support the decision.
I hope, for Ta'amu's sake, that he makes the most of it and does not squander his opportunity.
Guess he is also getting a 2 game suspension, according to reports on twitter.
Hey, if Ray Lewis can commit conspiracy to commit murder and then become the league's poster boy there is hope for everyone.
Originally Posted by phillyesq
I wouldn't be surprised if we give him a second chance... if he was at the end of his career or up for a new contract we would probably cut him but the Steeler's high character reputation has always been a myth IMO.
He will be on a short leash but I doubt we give up on a 4th rounder because he can't control his liquor.
Wesley Saunders thought something similar to that was true also!!!!!!
Originally Posted by feltdizz
It's always amazed me what the NFL overlooked for Rah-Rah Ray, but you know they won't handle things the same way for every player and every team...
Originally Posted by Oviedo
If you pulled the kind of crap he did, would your employer give you a second chance? I know mine wouldn't.
Originally Posted by feltdizz
Hall of Famer
I was sad to see them drop Saunders. I think the guy has the potential to be a star in this league.
Originally Posted by Oviedo
this is Ta'amu's 2nd DUI arrest, guess he didn't learn his lesson last time...
Steelers suspend rookie lineman Ta'amu after South Side DUI arrest
October 16, 2012
By Ed Bouchette and Gerry Dulac / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Steelers have suspended rookie defensive lineman Alameda Ta'amu for two weeks because of his Sunday morning arrest on the South Side that resulted in 15 charges, including felonies.
Mike Tomlin revealed the punishment at the start of his noon press conference. He said Ta'amu would not be paid and will not be permitted in the team's facility during those two weeks.
"We deemed his actions to be detrimental to the our team," Tomlin said. "It's a disturbing incident, one we take very seriously in our community."
Ta'amau, a fourth-round draft choice, will not be allowed to practice with the team or attend the facility during his suspension. He will be allowed to return the week leading up to the Nov. 4 game against the New York Giants.
The action by the Steelers points up the league's desire to have the involved team handle disciplinary measures for offending players.
But Commissioner Roger Goodell can increase the penalty for the player and also fine or discipline the team if he thinks the original penalty is not severe enough.
Tomlin said there is no further punishment planned for Ta'amu, who is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Oct. 23.
"We thought it was very important to act quickly in addressing this," Tomlin said.
In the Sunday incident, Ta'amu faces felony counts of fleeing police and aggravated assault while driving drunk and three counts of aggravated assault because officers said he nearly ran down police with his vehicle.
He also is charged with 10 misdemeanors, including resisting arrest and attempting escape. Police said he crashed his 2006 Lincoln Navigator into several vehicles while fleeing them on the South Side.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported earlier that court records show that Ta'amu also was charged with driving under the influence in October 2011 for an incident that occurred Dec. 12, 2009, when Ta'amu was playing for the University of Washington.
Trooper Joe Gannon of the Washington State Patrol wrote in a report that he stopped Ta'amu for driving 73 mph in a 60 mph zone on Interstate 5 about 3:40 a.m. and "smelled an odor of alcohol coming from him and ... observed his blood-shot watery eyes."
Police said Ta'amu, who was 19 at the time of the Washington arrest, blew a 0.097 and 0.098 on breath tests and told them he drank six Budweisers in three hours before he attempted to drive home in a 1993 Chevrolet Suburban.
Prosecutors initially charged him with driving under the influence, but he instead later pleaded guilty to negligent driving, for which he was sentenced to one day in a community-work program and ordered to pay a $350 fine.