PISCATAWAY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The attorney for a Rutgers football player facing a domestic violence charge said Thursday they will petition the school to lift his indefinite suspension so he can play while the case is pending.
Attorney Peter Gilbreth said after Leonte Carroo was arraigned in Piscataway municipal court that they will ask Rutgers to reassess its position since the trial won’t take place until at least mid-November.
The 21-year-old pleaded not guilty to an assault charge. Authorities allege he slammed a woman he once dated onto concrete after a game last month. The woman received injuries on her hip, hands, elbow and head.
“We’re very pleased with the way it’s going judicially, but we have to encourage Rutgers University to see if they can reassess this position that they have that until it’s over he’s suspended. We have to get him back on the team,” Gilbreth said. “Otherwise the season could be over for Leonte, which is not, in my mind and in our minds, fair.”
Gilbreth said he will probably wait until after Carroo appears in court Tuesday for a hearing on a temporary restraining order filed by the woman. Gilbreth said eyewitnesses and evidence from cellphone video will be presented that the defense says will help exonerate him.
Another Carroo attorney, William Fetky, said the videos show that Carroo’s girlfriend, 20-year-old Maria Vega, was attacked by the woman and Carroo grabbed Vega to get her out of the fight. The woman said the attorney’s statement was false and she didn’t provoke the attack.
Vega, her father, and Carroo’s mother were charged last week with simple assault and disorderly conduct related to the fight.
Carroo, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound senior captain, was arrested after six current and three former Rutgers players were charged with a series of violent crimes.
In an unrelated matter, the team’s coach, Kyle Flood, also was suspended for three games and fined $50,000 for improperly contacting an instructor regarding a grade of one of the players.
Rutgers is off this week. It will host Michigan State on October 10.
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