ShareThis Page

Pitt's Bookser faces eight vehicular charges, including misdemeanor DUI

| Monday, May 15, 2017, 5:15 p.m.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Pitt offensive lineman Alex Bookser goes through drills during practice Monday, Aug. 15 2016 at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.
Chaz Palla | Trib Total Media
Pitt's Alex Bookser, a Mt. Lebanon graduate practices Tuesday, March 17, 2015, on Pittsburgh's South Side.

Pitt junior offensive lineman Alex Bookser was arrested and is facing eight vehicular charges, including misdemeanor driving under the influence, after an incident in Oakland early Sunday morning.

Bookser, 21, also was charged with accidents involving damages to attended and unattended vehicles, failure to obey stop signs, driving at an unsafe speed, careless and reckless driving and operating a vehicle without an official certificate. All are summary offenses with the exception of the DUI and the charge of involvement in an accident involving an attended vehicle, which is a third-degree misdemeanor.

Bookser's vehicle also crashed into the Loeffler Building on Meyran Avenue, according to the criminal complaint filed against him. There was no report of injuries to Bookser.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for 8 a.m. June 26 in Magisterial District Court with Judge Jeffrey A. Manning.

“We are extremely disappointed in the circumstances Alex put himself in, and others, because of his poor decision-making,” Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said in a statement. “He has expressed to me his extreme regret and disappointment in himself.

“Alex understands the importance of accountability when a mistake of this gravity is made. We are committed, as is Alex, to ensuring his actions and judgment will be better moving forward.”

Narduzzi did not mention any specific punishment for Bookser, but he suspended former Pitt wide receiver Tyler Boyd and current senior defensive end Rori Blair for one game in 2015 after similar incidents that did not involve accidents or other vehicles.

The incident began shortly before 1 a.m. when a Pitt police officer sitting in his cruiser on Semple Street heard an engine revving behind him, according to the criminal complaint.

The officer, Terry Childs, looked in his mirror and saw a tan Ford Explorer speeding up the street and running a stop sign at Semple and Forbes Avenue. He wrote in the complaint that the Explorer turned right onto Forbes and continued in a “careless and reckless manner.”

Childs said the Explorer turned left onto Meyran Avenue and crashed into the Loeffler Building, according to the complaint.

As Childs approached, the driver — later identified as Bookser — began to get out. Childs drew his weapon and ordered Bookser to the ground, according to the complaint.

Bookser's eyes were glassy and bloodshot, and his speech was slurred, according to the complaint. A blood sample was taken about an hour later at UPMC-Presbyterian.

Police said Bookser struck a parked car on Semple Street and an occupied vehicle on Fresco Way. A estimate of the damages to the vehicles and the Loeffler Building was not available.

Bookser, a Mt. Lebanon graduate, started all 13 games at right guard and was named honorable mention All-ACC by conference coaches last season.

Megan Guza contributed. Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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.