Former Penn State football recruit Zayd Issah, free on bail, will wait to face charges

mcarroll@centredaily.comJuly 17, 2013 

Zayd Issah

Former touted Penn State football recruit Zayd Issah can now wait at his family’s Harrisburg home to answer to charges that he injured police while resisting arrest over the weekend in State College.

Issah, 18, who faces a felony charge of aggravated assault of an officer and other counts stemming from the incident, was released on bail Wednesday from the Centre County Correctional Facility, according to court documents.

His release came just after a preliminary hearing in his case was continued. The hearing, which had been scheduled for Wednesday morning, was postponed because his private attorney was unable to show for court.

Issah, who sat in the courtroom wearing red Centre County Correctional Facility garb, instead had a bail modification hearing. He was represented by public defender Patrick Klena.

District Judge Carmine Prestia accepted a request from Klena to change the conditions of Issah’s bail, allowing him to be released if he posts 10 percent of his $20,000 bail. But the judge refused to lower the total bail amount.

Klena said the young man’s parents, who were present in the courtroom, would take him back to their Harrisburg-area home and be responsible for him until his rescheduled preliminary hearing.

Centre County Assistant District Attorney Nathan Boob said Issah should not be a candidate for bail reduction because of the nature of the charges and because they came so soon after the young man was put into a probational program on an unrelated offense.

State College police have said Issah was placed in the state’s accelerated rehabilitative disposition program on counterfeiting charges from an incident in March.

The new charges, which include felony aggravated assault of police, stem from an incident over the weekend during the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.

Issah was allegedly involved in a dispute with a building manager at the Beaver Hill apartment complex early Saturday morning when police arrived. The young man pulled away from an officer and fled.

It took four officers to bring Issah under control, according to a criminal complaint. Two police officers suffered minor injuries while wrestling with Issah and one officer needed treatment at Mount Nittany Medical Center.

When Prestia asked what Issah was doing in the area and heard the young man was a former Penn State football recruit, the judge responded, “not being a fan of football, I wouldn’t know that.”

Penn State’s football program has revoked the scholarship of Issah, a former Central Dauphin High School football standout. Penn State officials said he is not enrolled at the university.

Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.

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