Penn State Football Player Accused of Assaulting Tow Truck Driver

A star Penn State football player is facing a misdemeanor assault charge after a confrontation with a tow truck driver last month in College Township.

Abdul J. Carter, 20, is accused of forcefully pulling the driver from a truck and throwing him to the ground during the incident. The Nittany Lion defensive end was charged on Wednesday with a second-degree misdemeanor count of simple assault and a summary count of harassment.

Carter’s Dodge Challenger was parked without a permit in the lot of the Aspen State College apartment complex on Squirrel Drive just after midnight on March 16, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed by State College police. When a driver from Halfmoon Valley towing attempted to tow the vehicle, the alarm went off, causing Carter to come outside.

After Carter refused to provide the information, police wrote, the driver resumed the process of towing the car. As the driver returned to the truck, Carter told him he was going to call 911 and used his forearm to block the driver from getting inside, according to the affidavit.

The driver, police wrote, grabbed a metal bar from the truck and yelled at Carter to back away, which he did. When the driver got inside, witness video showed that Carter wrapped his arms around the man’s abdomen and forcefully pulled multiple times to break his grip from the steering wheel, according to the affidavit.

Carter then carried the driver across the lot to a grassy area, where he threw him to the ground, police wrote.

Both men then jogged back to the truck, where the driver picked up from the ground a cell phone he believed might be his. Carter grabbed the man again and “is seen on video controlling the victim with one arm over the top of the victim’s shoulder while his other hand is holding his sweatshirt,” police wrote. The driver tossed the phone when he realized it wasn’t his, at which point Carter took him to the ground and held him down, according to the affidavit.

Video showed Carter allowing the driver to get up but held him back again when the man tried to return to the truck, police wrote. Carter released the man when a witness said she called 911, but continued to block the driver’s side door, according to the affidavit.

The driver went to the hospital for soreness the next day and an X-ray revealed he had non-displaced rib fracture.

Carter was charged Wednesday via summons. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 22.

A Penn State Athletics spokesperson and an attorney listed for Carter have not responded to requests for comment as of Wednesday afternoon.

A rising junior, Carter was a first-team All-Big Ten selection and started every game for Penn State in 2023. During the offseason, he moved to defensive end and played in limited action during the April 13 Blue-White spring game.


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