Most serious charges dropped in Gateway Clipper wedding brawl
Newlyweds Mark and Edyta Williams exchanged a kiss on Thursday in the Pittsburgh Municipal Courts Building, Downtown, moments after prosecutors reduced criminal charges against the groom, who was accused of drunkenly fighting with a man and harassing a server at his wedding reception aboard the Gateway Clipper.
“This was a significant misunderstanding,” Edyta Williams said as she walked out with her husband. “I never doubted him once.”
Pittsburgh police charged Mark Williams, 33, of Crafton with riot, harassment, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and public intoxication because they said he was involved in a fight that drew a crowd to the Clipper fleet dock in Station Square on Sept. 1. Another member of the wedding party Brian Alvin Taylor, 31, of McKees Rocks, a Sto-Rox School Board vice president, was arrested and faced similar charges.
Officers charged the groom’s brother David Williams, 35, of Plum, who is a state police trooper, with aggravated assault, riot, disorderly conduct, obstruction and resisting arrest.
All the charges against the trooper were dropped.
Prosecutors withdrew the more serious charges against Mark Williams and Taylor, who both pleaded guilty to summary counts of disorderly conduct and criminal mischief. Police said the server did not want to proceed with the case.
“What we had here was a miscommunication between people,” said attorney David J. Shrager, who represented David Williams.
Shrager said he expects David Williams, who works out of the Kiski Valley station, to return to duty. State police spokeswoman Maria Finn said police are conducting an internal investigation, but said Williams will return to work.
According to the criminal complaint, a woman who works on the Clipper said that Mark Williams had become “handsy” with her while she was working, touching her several times along the side and her upper hip. She said he tried to “pour” alcohol down her throat even though she said she was pregnant.
When the boat docked, she called her boyfriend, who admitted exchanging punches with Williams.
The boyfriend was not arrested.
During the fight, Taylor punched out the front window of a parked vehicle, injuring his hand.
Mark Williams and Taylor paid restitution to the vehicle owner, and are responsible for paying court fines.
Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or [email protected].