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Rashad Weaver charged with assault in South Side incident

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The former Pitt defensive end's attorney denied the allegations in a statement

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Former Pitt defensive end Rashad Weaver was charged with simple assault on Friday following an incident that occurred in the South Side of Pittsburgh in April. The news was revealed on Monday by John McGonigal of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette two days after Weaver was drafted by the Tennessee Titans.

The criminal complaint states that Pittsburgh police found a woman lying on the ground on April 18 at 2:28 a.m., according to McGonigal. She was on South 17th Street between East Carson and Bingham streets, and a group of people had gathered around her.

The woman was identified as Demetria Navjelis. One person at the scene said Navjelis was punched by Weaver. However, another witness said she saw Navjelis fall and did not see Weaver punch her. And Officer Anderson O’Kelly wrote in the complaint he saw no injuries consistent with a punch to head.

Weaver and Navjelis had both been at the Foxtail bar on East Carson Street earlier, according to the complaint, and they had to be separated by police after getting into an argument. During the argument, Navjelis said she threw her drink on Weaver. The incident at the bar was not caught on camera.

After the argument at the bar, police “sent them on their way,” with Navjelis and her friends walking toward South 17th Street, and Weaver walking down South 16th Street. However, Weaver allegedly told police officers “he had no problem hitting a female if they needed it” before he left the bar, per the complaint.

On April 25, Officer O’Kelly spoke with Navjelis about the incident. She said she had gone to Ohio Valley Hospital in McKees Rocks on April 22 and was diagnosed with a concussion.

Several hours after news of the charge against Weaver broke, his attorney issued a statement denying the allegations.

"The allegations against my client, Rashad Weaver, are completely false and reckless," said attorney Dennis M. Blackwell. "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."

Weaver, a 6’5”, 270-pound defensive end, recently concluded his college football career at Pitt. After the 2020 season, he was honored as a consensus All-American. The Titans chose him with the 135th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL draft on Saturday.

A preliminary hearing regarding the incident is scheduled to take place on Oct. 5.