PITTSBURGH (CBSNewYork/AP) — A judge has dismissed robbery, assault and all other charges against former New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis stemming from a fight last month in Pittsburgh, after a childhood friend testified that he knocked out two men who confronted Revis during a dispute over a cellphone.
The friend, Rashawn Bolton, 31, of Aliquippa, has not been charged in connection with the incident that occurred about 2:30 a.m. Feb. 12 on the city’s South Side, a neighbor well-known for its bars, restaurants and night life.
Bolton testified he knocked out Dallas Cousins, 22, and Zacheriah Jarvis, 21, with one punch each after Revis phoned him to say he was being jumped. Bolton ran from a few blocks away and testified he saw one man with his arms about Revis’ waist and the other hanging on Revis’ neck, pulled both off, then punched them in self-defense.
Bolton then took a video, which wound up on TMZ, in which he could be heard saying, “Hey, I knocked both of them (expletives) out. Both of them. They’re both sleeping” and then, turned to one of their friends saying, telling him to shut up.
A criminal complaint quoted Cousins and Jarvis as telling police they had been assaulted by Revis, though the men later acknowledged — and testified at Wednesday’s preliminary hearing — that they didn’t know who hit them. Officer Anthony Burke testified the complaint he filed charging Revis was based on statements the victims gave at the scene.
Cousins testified that he was a sports fan and heard someone say they recognized Revis as Cousins walked with several friends outside a bar that morning. When Revis confirmed he was the star player — well-known from his time at the University of Pittsburgh and nearby Aliquippa High School — Cousins doubted it and said Revis became “irate.”
At that point, Revis “nudged” Cousins and caused him to drop his phone, which was damaged. Cousins then picked it up and walked toward Revis, shooting video, before Revis grabbed the phone and tried to delete the video before, eventually, throwing it into the street, Cousins testified.
Cousins and Jarvis acknowledged trying to grab the phone from Revis’ hand, but both denied they had him around the neck of waist in trying to do so. The two men acknowledged they’d been drinking enough that they planned not to drive, but denied being overly intoxicated.
Both suffered concussions, with Cousins also suffering a fractured eye socket and Jarvis a jaw contusion.
Assistant District Attorney Edward Scheid argued that the robbery, aggravated assault and terroristic threat charges should stand based on the legal theory of “accomplice liability” — meaning Revis was responsible even though Bolton committed them. A friend of Cousins and Jarvis testified he heard Revis call on his phone to have “one of his boys” handle the situation. And Scheid suggested Bolton more or less acted as Revis’ bodyguard — which Bolton flatly denied.
Bolton and Revis had been together hours earlier, but separated when Revis went to see a woman, Bolton said. When Revis called for help Bolton started running several blocks in the direction he last saw Revis head, calling back twice to locate Revis.
Bolton said he and Revis, who didn’t testify, didn’t call 911 before walking away because Cousins and Jarvis were regaining consciousness and one of their friends had even begun apologizing for the fracas.
Bolton was accompanied by defense attorney Casey White, who said they’re “fully cooperating with any further investigation, if, in fact, there is one.”
Revis’ attorney, Robert Del Greco Jr., said he didn’t want to accuse the victims of lying.
“We had varying degrees of intoxication, we had head injuries, we had assumptions, we had mischaracterizations, we ha rumors, we had innuendoes and somehow all those events converged into this confluence that Darrelle Revis knocked out two guys and threatened people and robbed people,” Del Greco said.
A lawsuit over the charges is “certainly a possibility,” Del Greco said. “This fella has an impeccable reputation, as I said, a law-abiding man, a quiet man — not on the field — but a peaceful man off the field.”
Revis, the Jets first-round draft pick in 2007, said he’s hoping to sign a free-agent deal, and was relieved by the judge’s decision.
The Jets drafted Revis with the 14th overall pick in the 2007 draft. Widely regarded as the best cornerback of his era, he played six seasons in New York before he was traded to the Buccaneers in 2013. After playing one season in Tampa and another in New England, where he won a Super Bowl, Revis returned to the Jets as a free agent before the 2015 season.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)