Cops: UD player as­saulted driver

Newark Post - - FRONT PAGE - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­[email protected]­

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.


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