Police: Man tried to extort $15K from ex-Steeler

FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2011 file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward watches from the sidelines during the second half of an NFL divisional football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Pittsburgh. The DeKalb County sheriff's office says Ward was arrested in Dekalb County, Georgia, early Saturday, July 9, 2011 for driving under the influence of alcohol. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
October 18, 2012 8:00:59 PM PDT
Authorities say a man who tried to extort $15,000 from retired Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward has been arrested.

Allegheny County prosecutors say 26-year-old Joshua Van Auker was arrested Thursday after trying to extort the money through one of Ward's personal assistants. They say Van Auker threatened to release information alleging Ward had paid women for sex.

An affidavit says the assistant gave Van Auker money provided by law enforcement.

Van Auker was arrested by Allegheny County detectives. He's awaiting arraignment. It's unclear if he has an attorney. No telephone listing for him can be found.

Ward was MVP when the Steelers won the Super Bowl in 2006. He retired in March after 14 seasons with Pittsburgh.


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