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Man arrested in Heinz Field break-in

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By Tony LaRussa and Bill Vidonic
Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, 10:50 a.m.

A man dressed in gray sweatpants and a Pirates cap broke into Heinz Field on Saturday morning, wandered the turf and tried to force his way into the Steelers' locker room with a hammer, according to police.

A surveillance video captured parts of the break-in — the second at the North Shore stadium since 2010.

Pittsburgh police officers responding to a call for a burglary in progress found John Winters, 28, of Hubbard Street, Brighton Heights, standing in a hallway near the damaged locker room door with the hammer, according to court documents.

Winters entered Heinz Field through Gate B by breaking a lock, the court documents stated. A door at Gate B had pry marks, police said.

Winters was charged with burglary and possessing an instrument of crime and taken to the Allegheny County Jail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 8 a.m. Wednesday.

On May 23, 2010, three men were arrested by Pittsburgh police after two of them scaled a fence at Gate A to get into the stadium.

Shazad Mehta of Elmhurst, Ill., and Neville Noshir Medhora of Austin, Texas, pleaded guilty to entering Heinz Field while Adil Minocherhomjee of La Jolla, Calif., remained outside.

Medhora said they had attended a wedding at Heinz Field a few hours earlier but were not permitted on the field. Hours later, they were walking by the stadium and thought they could run in and take a photograph.

The trio pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay a fine and court costs.

Tony LaRussa and Bill Vidonic are staff writers for Trib Total Media. LaRussa can be reached at 412-320-7987 or Vidonic can be reached at 412-380-5621or

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