U of L players apologize for fight that led to misdemeanor charges

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by Rachel Nix

WHAS11.com

Posted on October 14, 2009 at 11:46 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 14 at 12:47 PM

(WHAS11) - Late this afternoon, two University of Louisville basketball players  apologized for their involvement in an alleged altercation with police that happened over the weekend. This comes after Jeffersonville Police released a report detailing why Terrence Jennings and Jerry Smith now face three misdemeanor charges.

Terrence Jennings and Jerry Smith are trying to clean up the alleged mess they got into over the weekend at Kye's -- an event complex in Jeffersonville. 

Starting an apology, Jennings saying: "I want to first apologize to the police and the organizers of the event..."

According to police, he's apologizing for fighting with them and resisting arrest.

The report says it started when an off duty officer working security saw Jennings shoving and pushing people. The officer asked Jennings to leave. He refused.  Then he and several officers ended up in a scuffle and that's when another officer pulled out his tazer and used it on Jennings twice.

While officers are trying to get Jennings under control, Smith walked up and asks what he can do to help Jennings. The officers tell him nothing and tell him to back off. He doesn't and he ends up fighting with officers.

In his statement, Jennings says this all started when, "I was provoked by another person that I was unfamiliar with..." When the officers asked him to leave, he says "I didn't know the individuals who approached me were off duty police officers..."

The police report says the officers were clearly marked "police."

Smith's attorney says, "Jerry's sense of loyalty and comradery to his teammate lead him to react and as a result we are faced with the circumstances placed before us."Jennings says: "I hope that I have shown in the past that these actions are uncharacteristic for me... I am a person with good integrity."

Coach Pitino says this matter will be handled internally. However, the Clark County Prosecutor says the maximum penalty for these charges, if convicted, is a year in prison and a $5000 fine.


Read Full Statement:

On Saturday the Jeffersonville Police arrested two (2) University of Louisville student athletes at a social function at Kye’s banquet hall in Jeffersonville, Indiana. 

The two athletes, Terrence Jennings and Jerry Smith, were taken to the Clark County jail where they were booked in and charged with Resisting Law Enforcement as a misdemeanor. 

As of this time charges have not been filed however, the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney has indicated that his office will move forward with charges within the next several days. 

In light of these circumstances, Terrence Jennings would like to offer the following public statement:

“I want to first apologize to the police and to the organizers of the event.  I was minding my own business and unfortunately, was provoked by another person that I was unfamiliar with.  That’s where this all started.  At first, I did not know the individuals who approached me were off duty police officers working security.   My teammate Jerry Smith was trying to help me from being physically harmed and I know he did not mean any disrespect either.  I hope that I have shown in the past that these actions are uncharacteristic for me and I look forward to showing everyone that I am a person with good integrity.”

Jennings’ attorney, Scott Roby, stated that, “It is our hope that this matter can be dealt with in a reasonable manner and we can put this incident behind us.  Terrence is a fine young man and he is looking forward to continuing to contribute to the University and the city of Louisville during his college tenure.”

Larry Wilder, attorney for Smith, re-iterated Roby’s position.  “This is an unfortunate incident.  Jerry’s sense of loyalty and comradery to his teammate lead him to react and as a result we are faced with the circumstances placed before us.” 

Wilder concluded, “These are two very soft-spoken, intelligent, kind young men and it is my personal hope that the media and public allow them to move forward with their lives and careers.”

Wilder went on to point out that, “Neither Jerry or Terrence have ever been in trouble with law enforcement.  The events that took place last Saturday are clearly not an indication of what they are as people, students or athletes.”
 

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