Cal U standout Portis gets deal in theft case
A California University of Pennsylvania senior quarterback has made a deal with prosecutors involving a theft case.
Joshua Allen Portis, 23, of Coal Center, was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing Monday in front of McKeesport Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi.
Allegheny County prosecutors offered Portis entry into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program, a type of probation for first-time offenders.
He is charged with theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, forgery and access device fraud for allegedly using a credit card stolen from a McKeesport residence at a store in Century III Mall in West Mifflin.
If he successfully completes the program, Portis can request the charges be expunged. His next court hearing is Feb. 11.
"Josh has already paid restitution and accepted responsibility for his actions," defense attorney D. Scott Lautner said. "This was a very large mistake on Josh's part, and he will be paying for it for a long time.
"Josh is a good kid with a great future in front of him. We all make mistakes."
According to a criminal complaint, two McKeesport residents reported to police that their home along Harrison Street had been burglarized Sept. 27. They said a purse containing various debit and credit cards had been taken. One card was used multiple times on Sept. 27, including a $313.60 purchase at a mall store.
The criminal complaint said that when McKeesport police Sgt. Chris Halaszynski questioned store employees on Oct. 5 about the purchases, they said the male customer was acting "shady," or suspicious.
One employee described the person who made the purchases as a tall, thin black male wearing "Cal U" clothing stating he was from the "real" California, originally from Los Angeles.
The employees said the customer registered for a rewards card using the name Josh Portis from California, Pa. Two employees then pulled up Portis' Facebook page and identified Portis as the customer.
Court documents indicated Portis agreed to meet with, Halaszynski on Oct 4, with Lautner present.
Portis reportedly admitted to using the stolen credit card to make the purchases in question and signed the victim's name.
It said Portis claimed he got the stolen credit card from a McKeesport man when they saw each other at the mall. Portis allegedly gave that person some of the items purchased.
In 2009, Portis quarterbacked the Vulcans to the NCAA Division II semifinals.
On Nov. 20, the Vulcans lost 28-26 to Bloomsburg in the first round of the 2010 playoffs.
Portis set the Cal record with 69 passing touchdowns and finished his career ranking fourth with 6,072 passing yards. Last week he was selected as an alternate for the Valero Cactus Bowl.
McKeesport police said the investigation is continuing.
McKeesport Daily News Sports Editor Mark A. Kaboly contributed to this report.
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.
- Newest Penguin Kessel’s unique shot is what makes him so special
- Ex-teammates say Kessel unfairly criticized
- Tiny black weevils booming in W.Pa.
- Pirates notebook: Taillon headed for surgery, Richard traded
- Russian winger Plotnikov could join Penguins in August
- Gorman: Barnstorming tour bigger than baseball
- Airlines offer small conveniences to counter higher fees, less space
- Lion cubs jump hurdles in Gaza Strip in journey to Jordan sanctuary
- McDonald’s localizes menus to battle growing competition
- Consider these factors before opting for longer-term auto loan
- Fun-seekers won’t let a Pittsburgh regatta without races get them down