As was reported by numerous news outlets, Andrew Koppel, 40, the son of Ex-ABC “Nightline” anchor Ted Koppel, was found dead Monday after going on what appears to be a drinking bender.
A look back to this TWT story printed in July of 1994 offers more insight into what he was like at 23, including a fight he had with a Senate aide and subsequent court appearance in D.C. Superior Court. He was a Georgetown law student at the time.
Read the TWT story after the jump…
Koppel’s Son Started ATM Fight, Jury Told
But Accused Says He Was Defending Himself
The son of ABC-TV’s Ted Koppel started a fight with a Senate aide at a Capitol Hill bank machine last year, punching him, splitting his nose open and causing both his eyes to swell shut, a prosecutor charged yesterday. Andrew Koppel, 24, does not deny punching Patrick Ahearn, 30, in the Nov. 5 fight, said Mr. Koppel’s attorney to a D.C. Superior Court jury yesterday. But he said Mr. Ahearn started the fight and Mr. Koppel was only trying to defend himself. “The aggressor was Patrick Ahearn, not Mr. Koppel,” attorney Gerald Fisher told jurors. The fight began about 10:30 p.m. at an automated teller machine in the 400 block of North Capitol Street near Union Station. “Mr. Koppel approached [Mr. Ahearn], saying, `You think you’re so cool standing in that suit. You must work on Capitol Hill,’ ” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Doug Gansler yesterday. “He wasn’t dressed the way he is today. He had on a brown leather coat, army fatigues and a cigarette hanging out of his mouth,” Mr. Gansler said, pointing to Mr. Koppel in a double-breasted suit.
Mr. Ahearn, an aide to Georgia Republican Sen. Paul Coverdell, testified that he tried to ignore the remarks. “I was nervous, if anything. It was D.C., and you hear about things around money machines. I was thinking, ‘Why did he pick me?’ ” said Mr. Ahearn, who has a visible scar down the bridge of his nose. After they both took money from the machine, Mr. Gansler said, a fight began, in which Mr. Koppel grabbed Mr. Ahearn by the lapels. Mr. Koppel was thrown against a wall and both men fell to the ground wrestling. When the tussle ended and Mr. Ahearn got up to leave, Mr. Koppel punched him in the face, the prosecutor said. After the fight, Mr. Koppel got into a cab and left. But the defense said Mr. Koppel was using the machine when Mr. Ahearn walked up and started telling him to hurry. “The person bumped him or shoved him from behind, making him drop his books,” Mr. Fisher said. Mr. Koppel asked for an explanation, and the fight began when Mr. Ahearn would not provide an answer. Mr. Koppel told his father about the fight the next day and Ted Koppel asked a police public information officer to see if a report had been written. Police had been called and taken a report that night, but Mr. Fisher said the officer could not find one. He was arrested the next month during final exams in his first semester as a student at Georgetown Law School. The trial continues today.
- The Washington Times 27 July 1994