Jennings, Smith facing battery, conduct charges
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) -University of Louisville forward Terrence Jennings expressed remorse on Tuesday following his arrest at a southern Indiana restaurant over the weekend.
Jennings and senior guard Jerry Smith were taken into custody by Jeffersonville police following a confrontation with off-duty officers at an alumni homecoming party early Sunday morning. Police have asked prosecutors to charge Jennings and Smith with resisting law enforcement, battery and disorderly conduct.
"I want to first apologize to the police and to the organizers of the event, Jennings said in a statement released by attorney Larry Wilder. "I was minding my own business and unfortunately, was provoked by another person that I was unfamiliar with. That's where this all started.''
The police report said several off-duty officers - all of whom were wearing clearly marked T-shirts with "Police'' on the front and back - were working at the party when a fight broke out inside. Officer Tom Mitchell found Jennings, a 6-foot-9 sophomore from Sacramento, Calif., pushing and shoving people, according to his report.
Jennings was eventually escorted outside and placed on the ground but "continued to fight with officers; trying to get back to his feet and refusing to place his hands behind his back.''
Jennings said he wasn't aware at the time he was being confronted by off-duty police.
Officers needed to strike Jennings twice with the Taser to subdue him. Police said Jennings, 20, also had a low level of alcohol in his system but is not facing alcohol-related charges.
Police say Smith, 22, a 6-foot-2 senior from Wauwatosa, Wis., approached officers after Jennings was placed in handcuffs. Smith refused to comply with requests to back away and resisted when an officer attempted to restrain him, according to the report.
"My teammate Jerry Smith was trying to help me from being physically harmed and I know he did not mean any disrespect either,'' Jennings said.
Louisville coach Rick Pitino said Sunday the matter would be handled internally. The Cardinals begin practice for the 2009-10 season on Friday.
Smith averaged 7.8 points and 2.1 rebounds and Jennings averaged 4.2 points and 2.9 rebounds for the Cardinals last season, and both players are expected to be major contributors for the defending Big East champions.
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