|Pitt's Fields to get first-offender program in police beef|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 02 October 2007 13:11|
PITTSBURGH (AP) -Pitt basketball player Levance Fields will spend nine months on probation in a special program for first-time offenders to settle criminal charges stemming from a scuffle with police, his attorney said Tuesday.|
Fields, a junior point guard, was charged with aggravated assault, public drunkenness, disorderly conduct and other counts after the Sept. 16 altercation outside a nightclub.
Authorities dropped all the charges, except for simple assault. Fields will appear in county court Oct. 26 to enter the program for first-time offenders. If he completes the nine-month probation without incident, his record will be expunged, defense attorney Robert DelGreco Jr. said after a hearing Tuesday in which the deal was struck.
``I think this addresses the government's concern for punishment, but also allows us to earn a clear record,'' DelGreco said.
In a statement, coach Jamie Dixon said, ``The initial report of this incident did not reflect the young man I have come to know.''
Fields had not been involved in team workouts since his arrest, but will be able to participate now, an school spokesman said.
``We have let the judicial process run its course and acknowledge today's decision,'' Dixon said. ``Levance has been, and will continue to be, held to our team's disciplinary standards. Those disciplinary actions will remain within the confines of our program.''
Fields, a 5-foot-10 native of Brooklyn, N.Y., and a starter at point guard since his freshman season, led Pitt in assists last season and was the team's fourth-leading scorer with 9.2 points per game.
In the altercation last month, Fields was arguing with another man and yelling obscenities when an off-duty police officer who was working security tried to subdue him. Fields punched the officer in the chest, then grabbed at the officer's weapon, police said. Officers then used a Taser to subdue Fields.
``We acknowledge wrongdoing and accepted responsibility and were grateful for what we believe to be a fair but firm disposition,'' DelGreco said.
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