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Brookline man charged in attempted blackmail of Hines Ward
Allegheny County detectives Thursday charged a Brookline man with trying to blackmail former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward after the man thought Ward was involved with his girlfriend.
Detectives said Joshua R. Van Auker, 26, demanded $15,000 from Wardís personal assistant, Raymond Burgess Jr., on Wednesday, saying that if Ward didnít pay the money, he would release documents that Ward had paid women for sex.
According to court documents, Van Auker met with Burgess in Sewickley on Thursday, and Burgess gave Van Auker $15,000 provided by law enforcement, in exchange for an envelope that Van Auker claimed contained the documents. Detectives then arrested Van Auker.
Mike Manko, spokesman for District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr, would not comment Thursday night.
Ward could not be immediately be reached for comment.
Van Auker remained in the Allegheny County Jail. His bail information wasnít immediately available.