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October 3, 2011

UFPD investigating assault on former UA player

TUSCALOOSA | Former University of Alabama football player Reggie Myles has filed a complaint with the University of Florida Police Department alleging that he was attacked by Florida defensive lineman Dominique Easley outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium shortly after the Crimson Tide's 38-10 win over Florida on Saturday night.

UFPD Sgt. Steve Wilder confirmed that an investigation is ongoing regarding Myles' complaint, but that UFPD has not yet confirmed that Easley was Myles' attacker.

"I'm trying to identify a suspect, who it was that actually hit him and injured him. I'll go from there," Wilder said.

Myles said he learned who his attacker was from Easley's parents, who were at the scene. According to Myles, he was tackled from behind and the attack was unprovoked.

A cell phone, dropped by Myles' assailant before he fled the scene, also may help police make an identification. Myles took possession of the phone and subsequently provided it to police at the scene.

"His parents were asking me for the phone back," Myles said.

In the wake of the incident, Myles was detained and charged by police himself, although Wilder said those charges were separate from the investigation into the attack, and stemmed from Myles being upset about what had happened. Those charges include public intoxication and criminal mischief, according to Myles.

"It was based on the way he was behaving when we were trying to sort everything out. It's stemmed from him being attacked," Wilder said. "The battery, him being battered, is a separate case. The charges against him were entirely based on his disorderly behavior following that, and I understand he was extremely agitated. He'd just been hit from behind by an unknown assailant, and was scraped up pretty good. I understand him being upset. Unfortunately, we couldn't get him to calm down."

Myles said it was his understanding that a recommendation would be made for his charges to be dropped, and that two eye witnesses would be providing statements to UFPD. Wilder said he would attempt to "lessen the impact" of the charges against Myles due to the extenuating circumstances.

The incident occurred on a walkway outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium shortly after midnight after the game. By the time Myles had a chance to speak with UFPD, the assailant had left the scene.

Myles was visibly agitated, and asked police at the scene for copies of any security camera video that might have captured the incident. Wilder said pulling those tapes would be part of his investigation. Myles' left elbow was bloodied and he walked with a limp and complained of hip pain while explaining to police what had happened. Myles was carrying a soft alumimum container of chicken wings at the time, which were splattered on the ground as he informed police of what had happened.

Myles said he was admitted to a hospital and was issued a pair of crutches. Following a visit to an orthopedist on Monday, Myles said, "Nothing was broken or torn."

"Once we got him calmed down and detained him and got him back to our police station where we got him checked out by EMS, the adrenaline rush had dropped, he started calming down and was a lot more cooperative," Wilder added. "We were able to sort a lot more of the initial attack, what happened, out. That's where we're at right now."

Easley made four tackles against the Crimson Tide on Saturday. He was also flagged for a personal foul for roughing UA quarterback AJ McCarron in the second quarter. McCarron, in turn, exchanged words with Easley and was animated in his excitement after scoring a touchdown on a sneak two plays later. Myles played at Alabama from 1998-2001, followed by a four-year NFL career with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Reach Chase Goodbread at chase.goodbread@tuscaloosanews.com or at 205-722-0196.


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