.

Brookline Man Threatens Hines Ward with Extortion

Joshua Roberts Van Auker is accused of meeting Ward's personal assistant in Sewickley to collect $15,000 from the retired Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver.

A Brookline man was arrested Thursday, accused of attempting to extort money from retired Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, multiple news sources are reporting.

Police charged Joshua Roberts Van Auker, 26, on Thursday with two counts of criminal attempt, court documents show. 

According to WTAE, Van Auker sent a text message on Wednesday, Oct. 17 to Ward's personal assistant indicating that if he did not receive money, Van Auker would either sell or release materials alleging Ward paid women for sex.

Van Auker also demanded $15,000, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, telling Ward through his assistant, "It's called buying silence, brother." 

The assistant contacted investigators the same day to report Van Auker was trying to extort money because he believed his girlfriend had been involved in a prior physical relationship with Ward, the P-G reports

On Thursday, authorities provided $15,000 to the assistant, who met Van Auker on Broad Street in Sewickley and gave him the money. Detectives with the Allegheny County district attorney's office arrested him after the exchange, WTAE reports.

Van Auker was awaiting arraignment Thursday night, according to court documents. 

Follow Dormont-Brookline Patch on Facebook and Twitter. For more news, sign up for our email Newsletter.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something