FORD CITY, Pa. (AP) — Troubled former lightweight boxing champ Paul Spadafora, already charged with putting a woman in a headlock at a bar, has been accused of holding a knife in front of another woman at a convenience store later that night.
Spadafora, known as The Pittsburgh Kid, has been charged by police in Manor Township in Armstrong County for a bizarre April 4 incident at a Sheetz convenience store, WTAE-TV first reported Wednesday. The charges of simple assault, public drunkenness and harassment were filed Tuesday, and Spadafora will be mailed a summons to appear at a preliminary hearing, online court records show.
Spadafora, who's 40, appeared to be drunk while holding a blueberry muffin in one hand and an opened, folding tactical knife in the other and yelling at a female clerk, police said.
The clerk "was unable to make out what he was saying, but was extremely scared for her well-being," police wrote in a criminal complaint.
When officers arrived, police said, Spadafora was belligerent and repeatedly yelled that he isn't gay, which police didn't further explain in their complaint. Spadafora was released to his mother's custody.
The convenience store encounter occurred several hours after an incident at a bar in Crafton, a Pittsburgh suburb, about 40 miles northwest.
Police there charged Spadafora with simple assault and harassment. Spadafora put a 63-year-old woman in a headlock at the bar and drank her beer and then threw her to the pavement when she went outside to call police, according to charges filed last week.
Spadafora's attorney, Phil DiLucente, said they're contesting the charges in both incidents. He said the convenience store encounter was a "misunderstanding," and he stressed the clerk was unhurt.
"A simple assault can be defined as if someone pulls a prank on someone and it scares them," DiLucente said.
DiLucente said he hopes the charges filed from the Crafton bar incident will be withdrawn at a preliminary hearing next month once he can question witnesses.
"If they're not, we're intent to go into the ring and fight the charges," he said.
Spadafora's once-promising career has been marred by arrests, most of them drinking-related. DiLucente said he couldn't comment on whether Spadafora is seeking treatment for alcohol use but said he's still boxing.
"Not only does he still box, he helps children in multiple counties train and learn how to box," DiLucente said. "He's pursuing that dream of making boxing bigger again with the younger generation."
Spadafora won the vacant International Boxing Federation lightweight belt in August 1999 when he was just 23, but he had to give up the belt after he was charged with shooting his girlfriend in October 2003.
Spadafora was convicted and then was paroled in April 2006 after 13 months at a boot camp for younger offenders. He's since been arrested for violating his parole by violating a protection from abuse order his now ex-girlfriend obtained in 2007, and he twice pleaded guilty after drunken-driving arrests in 2011.