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Steelers Asst. Coach Joey Porter Placed On Leave Following Arrest

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Pittsburgh Steelers assistant coach Joey Porter has been placed on leave following his arrest on Pittsburgh's South Side.

Porter was arrested Sunday night outside of a South Side bar, accused of assaulting a doorman and an off-duty police officer working a security detail.

Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert released a statement Monday:

We are continuing to gather information concerning Sunday night's incident involving Joey Porter. We have been and will continue to be in communication with the NFL as is required by the Personal Conduct Policy. Pending further review, Joey Porter has been placed on leave. At this time, we will move forward with our preparations for the Divisional Round playoff game at Kansas City.

Officers say the arrest took place around 9:30 p.m., just hours after the Steelers' 30-12 victory over the Dolphins in the opening round of the NFL playoffs.

In a press conference Tuesday, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said it was unfortunate to learn of Porter's arrest.

"Being in the NFL is a privilege, not a right," Tomlin said.

Tomlin also said that he doesn't think the Porter situation will be a distraction for the team as they prepare to play the Chiefs.

"It doesn't change what's expected of us or our preparation," Tomlin said.

Tomlin said there's no timetable for Porters return. If Porter isn't with the team in Kansas City, defensive coordinator Keith Butler will coach the unit.

According to a criminal complaint, off-duty officer Paul Abel was working security at a bar on East Carson Street when he was told that the doorman at The Flats on Carson Street "was being threatened by a Pittsburgh Steeler."

Officer Abel said he arrived at the scene and found Porter "standing over" and yelling at the doorman. Porter then allegedly ignored the Officer Abel's questions and lunged at the doorman.

Officer Abel said he pulled Porter away from the doorman. That's when, according to the criminal complaint, Porter grabbed the officer's wrists "so tightly that I could not pull them away from him, no matter how hard I tried."

Porter was transported to the Allegheny County Jail. His charges include aggravated assault, simple assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and public drunkenness.

Porter was arraigned on the charges early Monday morning and was released from jail on $25,000 bond.

As he was being detained, Porter claimed he never touched the officer, but acting Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert believes evidence will back up the officer's version of events.

"There is video out there and video from businesses that we are reviewing," he said.

The officer's body camera was not turned on until after most of the altercation.

Chief  Schubert said he understands the increased attention this incident is receiving.

"He's part of the Steeler organization, he's high profile, obviously people are going to be interested in his arrest because of the position Mr. Porter is in."

Mayor Bill Peduto said Porter's case will be handled like any other.

"Public safety will never take a backseat to football, public safety comes first," he said.

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