Cops: UD player assaulted driver
A University of Delaware football player assaulted a driver who struck his mother as she crossed a Newark highway Saturday night, authorities said.
Sophomore running back Khory Spruill turned himself in to face an assault charge after the incident that happened around 8 p.m., shortly after the Blue Hens’ upset win over Towson.
According to court documents, Spruill and other family members left Delaware Stadium and crossed South College
Avenue to get to the Embassy Suites hotel, where family members were staying.
As Spruill’s mother, 42-year-old Sakeena Pickett, crossed the road outside of a marked crosswalk, she was struck by a green Ford Edge driven by a 77-year-old man in the southbound lane near the entrance to the Embassy Suites parking lot.
The driver stopped and heard banging on the side of his SUV, he told police. After the man opened the door, Spruill pulled him from the
SUV and punched him in the face multiple times with a closed fist, PFC Andrew Vari, of the Newark Police Department, wrote in court documents.
Bystanders helped the bloodied man back to his vehicle, and he left.
Vari described a “chaotic situation” when police arrived, with a crowd of approximately 50 people yelling and screaming.
Pickett was hospitalized with serious injuries, police said.
Investigators inter viewed Spruill at the hospital, and he told officers he was heading to the Embassy Suites when he heard a scream and
turned around to see the car strike Pickett. He then admitted to assaulting the driver, according to court documents.
“He said that the door opened and he pulled [the victim] from the vehicle and began to punch him several times in the face. He stated that when he was done, he turned his attention back to [Pickett],” Vari wrote.
Spruill was charged with second-degree assault on a person over 62 years of age, which is a felony. He was also charged with criminal mischief for allegedly punching the man’s car, which did more than $1,000 in damage.
After turning himself in on Sunday, Spruill was released on $6,500 unsecured bail.
Police tracked down the driver at his home using license plate information provided by witnesses. The man, whose name was not released, suffered cuts to his face but declined medical treatment. He will not face charges.
“He stopped initially,” Lt. Andrew Rubin, an NPD spokesman, explained. “It was because he was being assaulted that he fled out of fear for his safety.”
Spruill, a 19-year-old from Clinton, Md., is in his second year on the Blue Hen football squad. He played in
all 11 games as a freshman but has seen limited action this year. According to a biography on UD’s website, he is majoring in business.
UD officials did not say what, if any, consequences Spruill will face.
“The university has been working with the City of Newark Police regarding this regrettable incident and they have been in touch with the University Police Department throughout,” UD spokeswoman Andrea Boyle Tippett said in a prepared statement. “This matter has also been referred to the University’s Student Conduct office. As this is an active investigation, it would
be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time.”
Information from the Associated Press was included in this article.