Share This Page

Pitt football player faces hearing in connection with family brawl in Homestead

| Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, 10:33 a.m.

A University of Pittsburgh football player has a hearing scheduled next week on charges stemming from a family brawl in Homestead.

Homestead police charged Tyrone Ezell, 23, of Munhall with simple assault, harassment and disorderly conduct. Police also charged his father, Albert Ezell, 57, of Munhall in connection with the July 30 incident.

Tyrone Ezell is a senior defensive tackle and a graduate of Steel Valley High School who has started all four of the Panthers' games this season. He was suspended for the 2012 season opener for violating team rules, but started the remainder of the season.

“We are aware of an alleged July incident involving Tyrone Ezell, who has asserted his innocence in this matter,” E.J. Borghetti, Pitt's senior associate athletic director, said in a prepared statement. “Given that assertion, and based upon what we know, Tyrone will remain an active member of the football program while the legal process runs its course.”

Police responding to a report of a fight went to the East 16th Avenue home of Michelle Butler. Butler told police Heaven Franklin-Pitts and her relatives, Tyrone and Albert Ezell, came to her home and accused her daughter of jumping Franklin-Pitts earlier that day. Butler told police she had her daughter, Rayon Williams, 14, step outside and Franklin-Pitts attacked her. When Butler tried to help, she said Albert Ezell punched her. When another daughter, Fendi Taylor, 21, stepped in, Tyrone Ezell punched her in the mouth, according to the criminal complaint filed against the player.

Butler said Albert Ezell hit her and threw her to the ground. Taylor gave police an estimate of the $775 worth of damage done to her teeth during the fight, the complaint said.

The Ezells could not be reached for comment. A preliminary hearing scheduled Wednesday was postponed to Oct. 16 before District Judge Thomas Torkowsky.

Staff writer Jerry DiPaola contributed to this report. Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or mharding@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.