Saturday, March 23, 2002

Bearcats DB pleads guilty in Pa. brawl

Enquirer staff, wire reports

        SHARON, Pa. — Jesse Wilson, 20, a University of Cincinnati defensive back, has pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and disorderly conduct for his part in a brawl at a high school basketball game.

        Wilson had faced more serious charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and rioting.

        Wilson had been an all-state defensive back at Farrell, which was playing at longtime rival Sharon on Feb.2 when a fight broke out in the packed stands with less than two minutes left.

        UC athletic officials, who suspended Wilson after the fight, said it is unclear how the plea on reduced charges will affect his status. “We have to review the case further before we make that sort of decision,” said Tom Hathaway, assistant athletic director at the university.

        Four officers tried to break up the fight, but police said the crowd started punching and kicking the officers and grabbing for their guns. Five surrounding police departments responded to calls for backup.

        Wilson admitted in court that he tried to stop police from arresting a relative.

        A video tape reviewed in court showed that Wilson did not intentionally shove an officer down. Investigators said the officer, one of four treated for minor injuries, lost his balance.

        Three officers used pepper spray to subdue Wilson, the only person charged out of up to 100 people involved in the fight.

        Sharon is about 60 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.


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