|Missouri's Horton arrested in fight that injured Hannah|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 01 February 2008 18:40|
Horton faces a charge of third-degree misdemeanor assault on an unidentified 26-year-old man in connection with the early morning fight at the Athena nightclub in downtown Columbia.
The Jan. 27 incident left senior Stefhon Hannah, the Tigers' leading scorer the past two seasons and Horton's starting backcourt mate, with a broken jaw. Hannah is out a minimum of one month and could miss the rest of the season.
Horton, a senior, is one of five players suspended indefinitely by coach Mike Anderson for violating curfew and a team rule against visiting certain bars and nightclubs.
Forwards Marshall Brown, Darryl Butterfield and Leo Lyons were also suspended, as was Hannah, who remains in his hometown of Chicago as he recovers from surgery. Each is either a starter or a key reserve.
Playing with only six scholarship players and two walk-ons, Missouri (12-9, 2-4 Big 12) lost 66-62 to Nebraska on Wednesday. The Tigers face No. 22 Kansas State (15-4, 5-0) in a home game Saturday.
After the loss to Nebraska, which had been winless in conference play, Anderson said he would reconsider whether to extend the player suspensions. But that was before Horton's arrest.
On Friday night, Anderson issued a one-paragraph statement suggesting that the suspensions could continue on Saturday and beyond. On Monday, the Tigers travel to Lawrence for a rematch against No. 2 Kansas.
``These five players remain suspended indefinitely for the violation of our team rules,'' Anderson said. ``We made the determination to suspend these guys indefinitely, because we felt like there was more information out there that we didn't immediately have in our hands.
``While each player's suspension revolves around the same incident, their level of involvement may vary and their punishment will fit that level of involvement.
``As we move forward, our priority will be to help these young men learn from this regrettable incident and grow as citizens in our community.''
The investigation into the fight outside Athena continues, said Capt. Brad Nelson, investigative commander for the Columbia Police Department.
``There are probably going to be additional arrests,'' he said.
According to police, the initial investigation was hindered by the reluctance of the estimated 20 to 30 people gathered outside the nightclub to cooperate. Investigators have since spoken to several witnesses, Nelson said, including Brown, Butterfield and Lyons.
They have not interviewed Hannah other than a brief conversation in the hospital.
The 1 a.m. assault on Sunday morning happened just hours after the Tigers returned from a 66-62 victory at Colorado, the team's first road win this season. Hannah had a key steal in the final minutes to seal the win.
``We certainly want to speak with him again,'' Nelson said.
He added that Hannah and Horton's three teammates were not involved in any physical disturbance.
``As far as the actual assault and disturbance, they didn't have any involvement,'' Nelson said.
In addition to the victim, another witness identified Horton as punching the victim ``multiple times'' in the face, Nelson said. Horton was not defending Hannah or any of his other teammates, the captain said.
Horton was arrested at his off-campus apartment Friday afternoon, taken to police headquarters and released on a summons to appear in court.
The nightclub altercation is the latest in a series of off-court incidents involving Missouri players since Anderson was hired less than two years ago.
Butterfield was suspended - for one exhibition game - following an arrest for punching a former girlfriend. He pleaded guilty and received a suspended sentence and six months probation when the charge was downgraded to peace disturbance .
DeMarre Carroll, Anderson's nephew, was shot in the ankle outside a downtown club while trying to break up a fight. Mike Anderson Jr., the coach's son and a backup guard, was arrested for DUI last year and suspended for a game.
And Kalen Grimes, the school's leading rebounder and starting center last season, was dismissed from the team after being arrested for hitting a man in the face with the butt of a shotgun in St. Louis in July.