SOUTH BEND, IND. (AP) - Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees was pepper-sprayed and arrested early Thursday after he allegedly ran from away from an off-campus party and knocked the wind out of a police officer who caught up to him.
A probable cause affidavit says the 6-2, 210-pound Rees continued to resist even after being knocked down by police Officer Brandon Stec, so Stec used pepper spray and was finally able to subdue him with the help of other officers.
Police Capt. Phil Trent said linebacker Carlo Calabrese tried to talk to police, asking them why they don’t like Notre Dame. Trent said Calabrese eventually grew angry and twice told officers: “My people will get you.”
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.
Prosecutors said they were still reviewing the preliminary misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct against Calabrese and would make a charging decision on Friday. He was released on $150 bond.
Rees was among about five people who jumped a backyard fence and ran after officers arrived to break up a party several blocks from campus about 12:30 a.m. following the last day of Notre Dame’s spring semester classes, Trent said.
The affidavit says Stec chased Rees, continually saying he was a police officer and continually telling him to stop, but Rees refused. When he ran out into the street, a passing taxi driver heard Stec ordering Rees to stop and maneuvered his car to block Rees‘ path, the affidavit said.
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.
Trent said police arrested the 21-year-old Calabrese after he became angry when it became clear Rees was being arrested. Trent said Calabrese asked police, “Why aren’t you a Notre Dame supporter,” and “Why are you doing this to my teammate,” before eventually uttering 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 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.
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
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.