By ROBERT CONNELLY
A football standout attending classes at the University of Notre Dame has been given a $75,000 cash or surety bond on criminal charges, including assault on an Austintown police officer.
William Mahone, 20, of Whitebeech Lane, is facing felony charges of intimidation, assault on a police officer and vandalism as well as misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct while intoxicated. He pleaded not guilty to the two misdemeanor charges and has a pretrial hearing set for 6:30 p.m. July 7.
Prosecutor Ken Cardinal appealed to Judge David D’Apolito of Mahoning County Area Court on Monday for a $35,000 bond because of Mahone’s being a flight risk to Indiana, where he is a student and football player at Notre Dame.
“When you commit a violent act against a police officer, we take it very serious,” Cardinal said.
Judge D’Apolito raised Mahone’s bond by $40,000 more than Cardinal had requested to $75,000. If Mahone posts bond, he will be allowed to attend activities at Notre Dame. As of late Monday he still was in the county jail.
Mahone’s attorney, James Gentile, asked for a lower bond and for the judge to allow him to go to class as he has no previous criminal history and had about 10 supporters in court Monday.
Gentile also asked for traveling privileges to Iowa to visit an ailing aunt, but the judge denied that request.
According to a police report, authorities were sent to the intersection of Rita and Ray avenues at 10:19 p.m. Saturday and found a group of about 20 people in the street who pointed to a driveway. Friends and police said it was a graduation party that Mahone was attending.
People told police that Mahone was head-butting and punching vehicles and attempting to fight several people.
A report said Mahone was intoxicated and being restrained by a friend and broke free when the officer asked him to get on the ground. According to the report, Mahone “began to square up on him in an attempt to” fight the officer.
The officer advised Mahone to stop and get on the ground when he yelled, “[expletive] you, white boy!”
The officer then took Mahone to the ground and cuffed one hand, and a bystander assisted in cuffing the other hand.
Once handcuffed, Mahone continued to threaten officers using expletives.
Authorities then attempted to get him off the ground and into the cruiser, and while he pulled away, Mahone whipped his head back, striking an officer in the face — at which point officers used a stun weapon on him.
While in the rear of a police car, Mahone kicked a window three to four times before being stunned again while he continued threatening officers, the report said.
“Take these cuffs off, and I will kill all of you,” Mahone said, according to the report.
He then began to spit in the inside of the vehicle and had a spit net placed on his head.
He was transported to St. Elizabeth Health Center for a cut on his head that was there before officers arrived. While en route to the Mahoning County jail, Mahone told an officer: “Bro, when I get out, I got a Glock 9 for your a--,” referring to a handgun, according to the report.
Fitch football teammate Chris Davis was in court to show his support for Mahone.
“He’s a great young man ... does things like community service,” here and at Notre Dame, Davis said.
The two graduated from Fitch in 2012, and Mahone is a wide receiver at the University of Notre Dame.
“He made one mistake, and I hope that doesn’t tarnish his name,” Davis said.
However, according to Vindicator broadcast news partner 21 WFMJ TV, Notre Dame has suspended Mahone from all football related activities.
According to the University of Notre Dame’s football site, Mahone earned second-team 2011 Division 1 all-Ohio honors from the Associated Press as a linebacker. Fitch went 6-4 in 2011 and 10-2 in 2010 while Mahone played running back and linebacker. He rushed the ball 81 times as a senior for 700 yards and nine scores while missing about half of that senior year with an ankle injury. He also was a member of the Fitch basketball team, where he earned second-team all-Northeast Ohio honors after scoring the ninth-most points in a season at Fitch and averaging 19 points a game during the 2011-12 season.
The site listed Mahone as being enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences at Notre Dame.