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

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By Margaret Harding
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

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