Steve Pondeca, a 19-year-old freshman on the Niagara University men's soccer team, was arrested on charges of petit larceny on March 8 by the Town of Niagara Police Department.
After being held at the Niagara County Sheriffs Office, Pondeca was released early the following morning after meeting $600 bail, according to the Niagara County Sheriffs' app. By New York State law, petit larceny is a Class A misdemeanor and typically involves items or money valued at $50 or less.
When asked for comment, the Niagara University Athletic Department relayed this statement:
“The university was made aware of the incident and we are currently gathering information. We take these matters very seriously and will monitor the situation accordingly.”
A Freedom of Information Request was sent to the Town of Niagara Police Department last week to gather more information on the incident, and a response should be received soon.
As a freshman forward, Pondeca registered two assists in 15 games under former coach Eric Barnes, whose contract was not renewed following the campaign. Presently, Pondeca remains on the Purple Eagles' online roster.
This news marks the second arrest for theft among local college athletes in the last two years, as University at Buffalo basketball star Justin Moss was dismissed from the school last August as a repeat offender, while his teammates Mory Diane and Raheem Johnson were also arrested in the same incident. More information on that incident can be found here, and it's important to note that Pondeca's arrest may be much different in nature.
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