SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees has been charged with four misdemeanors after allegedly raising his knee and knocking the wind out of a police officer following an off-campus house party early Thursday.
The St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office says the 19-year-old Rees was charged with one count of battery, two counts of resisting law enforcement and one count of illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor. Police had filed a preliminary charge of felony battery on a police officer, which would have required him to stay in jail until being arraigned before a judge.
Rees was released on a $250 cash bond.
Prosecutors said they were still reviewing the preliminary misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct against linebacker Carlo Calabrese.
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Police pepper-sprayed Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees and put him in jail early Thursday after he allegedly raised his knee and knocked the wind out of a police officer who had chased him down following an off-campus house party.
Linebacker Carlo Calabrese also was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of public intoxication after he tried to intercede while Rees was being arrested. South Bend police Capt. Phil Trent said Calabrese twice told officers: “My people will get you.”
Rees was among about five people who jumped a backyard fence and ran after officers arrived to break up a loud party several blocks from campus about 12:30 a.m. following the last day of Notre Dame’s spring semester classes, Trent said.
When an officer caught up with Rees, the 19-year-old raised his knee into the officer and they both fell down, Trent said. Rees continued to resist so the officer pepper-sprayed the quarterback so officers could handcuff him, Trent said.
Rees was jailed on a preliminary felony charge of battery on a police officer and misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest, minor consumption and public intoxication. Trent said Rees registered 0.11 percent on a blood-alcohol test.
Coach Brian Kelly said he was aware of the incident.
“I am of course very concerned given the nature of the allegations, but I am still gathering information. I’ll withhold judgment until I can collect all the facts and speak with both Carlo and Tommy,” he said.
Because of the felony charge, Rees remained in custody without bond until he is arraigned before a judge. The St. Joseph County prosecutor’s office was reviewing the charges. An initial court appearance wasn’t immediately scheduled, said Lora Bentley, the prosecutor’s office spokeswoman.
Trent said police arrested Calabrese after he became angry when it became clear Rees was being arrested, then uttered his warning.
“I have no idea what that means but it’s obviously some sort of threat,” Trent said.
Trent said some people in the crowd pulled Calabrese, 21, back into the yard away from the officers. Trent said Calabrese repeated the threat several minutes later and started trying to push through the people who were trying to restrain him. That’s when he was arrested, Trent said.
He was released after posting $150 bond. Calabrese, who is from Verona, N.J., was a backup linebacker who played in every game last season after starting eight games as a sophomore during the 2010 season.
Rees, who is from Lake Forest, Ill., started 12 of 13 games as the Irish went 8-5 last season after starting four games as a freshman in the 2010 season. He was among four players competing during Notre Dame’s spring practices for the starting quarterback spot this coming season.
“The university is aware of this incident and is confident that it will be handled in a prompt and professional manner through the criminal justice system,” Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown said in a statement. “Internal discipline is handled privately, in accord with our own policies and federal law.”
Brown said the university would have no further comment. A message seeking comment from coach Brian Kelly was left Thursday for Brian Hardin, Notre Dame’s director of football media relations.
Trent said no one else at the party was arrested or cited and that none of the others who fled from the party was caught.