Assault charges filed in Missouri basketball fracas Print
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Friday, 15 February 2008 14:22
NCAAB Headline News


 COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -Missouri guard Jason Horton and former teammate Stefhon Hannah were charged with third-degree assault Friday in connection with a January fight at a late-night restaurant.
Boone County prosecutors charged each with third-degree misdemeanor assault for allegedly scuffling with two employees of the Nikai Mediterranean Grill. The fight left Hannah - who was kicked off the team Tuesday for missing two weeks of classes following the incident - with a broken jaw.
A probable cause statement provided to The Associated Press sheds additional light on the Jan. 27 incident, which led to a two-game suspension for Horton and forward Darryl Butterfield and one-game suspensions for forwards Leo Lyons and Marshall Brown. The three forwards were suspended for violating curfew.
r what he considered poor service around 1 a.m., hours after the team returned from its first road victory of the season at Colorado.
The employee told police and prosecutors that Hannah then pushed him from behind while the worker was locking the door at closing time. Horton then approached the pair as if to break up the disagreement, but before he could intervene Hannah punched the employee in the face.
The employee then grabbed Hannah by the shirt collar ``and pulled himself into Hannah so as not to be struck again,'' the statement reads. At that point, Horton hit the employee on the right side of his neck, above the shoulder.
The employee said he held on to Hannah while avoiding additional punches thrown by Horton. The two fell to the floor.
An unidentified co-worker then came to the employee's assistance. The co-worker said that he punched Hannah only after the player attempted to hit him.
Assistant prosecuting attorney Richard Hicks said he didn't file criminal charges against the employee who broke Hannah's jaw because the man was defending his co-worker, who suffered a cut near his eye and scrapes on his elbow from the fall.
``This individual was acting in lawful defense of another,'' Hicks said.
Neither Horton nor Hannah could be reached for comment late Friday. A Missouri basketball spokesman said that the prosecutor's decision will likely not affect Horton's status with the team.
``The situation has been dealt with and we have moved on,'' spokesman Dave Reiter said.
 

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