PITTSBURGH - Charges have been filed against New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis in connection with an altercation over the weekend in Pittsburgh’s South Side neighborhood, authorities said.
Revis' attorney, Blaine Jones, told ESPN that he was trying to reach the four-time All-Pro by phone Thursday night to arrange for him to surrender to police. Jones wouldn't say when Revis, an Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, native would turn himself in, but noted it would be "rather soon." Jones told The Associated Press that once a warrant was issued, he would arrange for Revis to turn himself in.
A Jets spokesman said Thursday that the team was aware of the incident and had spoken to Revis, ESPN reported. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league would look into the matter.
Pittsburgh police said officers were called at 2:43 a.m. Sunday in Pittsburgh’s popular South Side neighborhood for a report of two men who had been knocked unconscious.
According to the investigation, a 22-year-old man from Kittanning, Pennsylvania, was walking along a street when he spotted a man who resembled Revis. The man told police that he asked if the man was Revis, and the player confirmed his identity.
The man began recording the interaction on his cellphone and continued following Revis, police said. "At some point, Revis snatched the cellphone away and attempted to delete the video," the police statement said.
A 21-year-old man from Ross Township, Pennsylvania, attempted to help the 22-year-old retrieve the cellphone, and Revis tossed it onto the roadway, police said.
Authorities said a verbal argument followed and a fourth man came to assist Revis. Both the 22-year-old and the 21-year-old told officers that they were punched and then remember waking up to talk to police.
Witnesses stated that the two men were unconscious for about 10 minutes. Pittsburgh police said they viewed the cellphone video recorded by the 22-year-old man and confirmed that the person involved in the altercation was Revis.
Jones said the two men were taunting Revis while he was visiting a place in the South Side that he is developing. He said Revis told the men he played football and that he didn’t want any trouble.
Revis was a star player at the University of Pittsburgh before he went to the NFL.
Jones said Revis had returned home to Pittsburgh to visit family and friends and stopped by a location on the South Side that he's in the process of developing. Asked by reporters Thursday night why Revis was there at such a late hour, Jones said his client "didn't want to be around a lot of people" while looking at the real-estate investments and "kind of wanted to do it on his own terms."
Jones said Revis was "physically assaulted while at the location by a group of at least five people," ESPN reported.
"It's my understanding that when Darrelle turned around he wasn't sure whether it was a weapon or a phone," Jones told reporters. "He didn't know. He just knows he left, these guys were saying his name, he turns around and sees an object and he wasn't sure what it was or whether he was going to get robbed or assaulted or what.
"He feared for his safety."
Revis, one of the NFL's most accomplished players, is facing an uncertain future with the Jets, ESPN reported. After a disappointing season — he called it the worst of his career — the 31-year-old Revis could be a salary-cap casualty in the coming weeks; he's due a $2 million roster bonus on March 11, plus another $13 million in base salary (including $6 million guaranteed).
Revis acknowledged he reported to training camp last season out of shape, contributing to his slow start. He has vowed to rebound in 2017, even saying he's willing to switch to safety.
Revis, who spent one year apiece with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots, returned to the Jets in 2015, signing a five-year, $70 million contract. Since then, he has struggled to reach the standard he set from 2007 to 2011, when he was regarded as the best cornerback in the league.