Records: Steelers RB Bell admitted smoking pot before traffic stop but denied being high
A Steelers running back admitted to a Ross police officer during a traffic stop Wednesday that he smoked marijuana earlier in the day but denied being high, court records show.
“I smoked two hours ago. I am not high anymore. I am perfectly fine,” Le'Veon Bell, 22, told Ross motorcycle Officer Sean Stafiej, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday. “Why would I be getting high if I had to get on a plane to make it to my game?”
Asked what game he referred to, Bell told Stafiej that he played for the Steelers, who played a preseason game at the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday.
Stafiej wrote in the complaint that he could smell marijuana from the open window of a black Camaro when he pulled alongside it on McKnight Road near Braunlich Road on Wednesday afternoon. He activated his lights and siren, and Bell, who was driving, pulled the car into the entrance of a parking lot by Pool City, police said.
Fellow running back LeGarrette Blount, 27, was in the front seat, and a female companion, Mercedes Dollson, 21, a model from California, was in the back seat, police said.
Stafiej wrote that Bell's eyes were red and glassy and his pupils were dilated but that he first denied having marijuana in the car. Bell told Stafiej that they smoked within the past two hours, the complaint said.
When a Ross K-9 officer arrived and police said the dog would search around and in the vehicle in a check for contraband, Bell told the officer that the marijuana was in the glove box, the complaint said. Police found a bag of suspected marijuana, estimated by police to be about 20 grams.
The three told police they pitched in to buy the marijuana. Police charged all three with prohibited acts, a misdemeanor, and Bell faces an additional charge of driving under the influence. Stafiej wrote he conducted field sobriety tests and believed Bell was not able to safely operate a vehicle. Police took him to UPMC Passavant to draw blood, which was done at 2:35 p.m., the complaint said. The results of the blood draw were not listed in the criminal complaint.
Bell and Blount could face four-game suspensions by league rules, but precedent suggests it won't be as severe.
With the charge of possession and DUI, Bell could face a stiffer penalty than Blount barring prior positive drug tests during their careers. The NFL has a confidentiality rule in which first-time offenders don't have their results made public.
Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at 412-380-8519 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Army Sgt. Bergdahl must await general’s decision on court-martial
- ‘Boss’ gifts to Pittsburgh employees from Peduto raise questions
- Delays expected on Pa. Turnpike for retaining wall repairs
- Penguins rally late but lose to Panthers, 4-3, in shootout
- Steelers film session: Playoff off coverage holds off Chiefs
- Online payment services facilitate foreign spending
- Pittsburgh police doubling up on duty after potential threats
- Steelers linebackers are getting to quarterback with more regularity
- Penn Hills wants to step up code enforcement, cite violators
- Pitt recruit Whitehead remains committed
- Changes abound at Uncle Charley’s Sausage, but taste isn’t one of them