Derek Dooley comments on Friday morning's violent bar brawl
Da'Rick Rogers signs with UT
Bar Knoxville co-owner Sandy Morton offered her eyewitness account of the event to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Cell photos, videos
If you have cell phone photos or videos of the arrests at the Bar Knoxville, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
KNOXVILLE - A brawl that led to the arrests of two University of Tennessee football players began when "an unknown patron" of a Cumberland Avenue bar attacked freshman defensive tackle Montori Hughes "without provocation," Hughes' attorney said this afternoon.
Gregory P. Isaacs, who was retained today to represent Hughes, said that his client hasn't been interviewed or charged by law enforcement in connection with the fight that sent two people to a hospital, including an off-duty Knoxville police officer.
"Our investigation has revealed that the UT football players did not start the altercation at the establishment," Isaacs said. "Importantly, Montori Hughes was assaulted by an unknown patron for no apparent reason, which was the catalyst of the altercation."
Isaacs said he didn't believe that any criminal charges will be filed against Hughes, 19. He also said that his firm's investigation "revealed there is no surveillance video existing of the events that transpired."
Tonight, coach Derek Dooley announced he was dismissing sophomore safety Darren Myles from the program. Dooley also indefinitely suspended sophomore defensive tackle Marlon Walls and sophomore linebacker Greg King.
The injured officer, Robert Capouellez, has been moved to a private room at the University of Tennessee Medical Center and is listed in stable condition, according to DeBusk.
DeBusk also identified a man who was assaulted inside the bar as Gary Russell, 20. Russell was treated and released from UT Medical Center, according to a spokesman.
It's unclear if Russell is the "unknown patron" that Hughes' attorney said started the fight.
The two arrested players were released from jail this morning after posting bonds.
According to UT Police Department reports, players John Brown, 22; Matthew Milton, 18; Denarious Moore, 21; Darren Myles Jr., 19; and Da'Rick Rogers, 19, were identified as those involved in beating the off-duty Knoxville Police Department officer.
A UTPD report filed shortly after the incident said that assault charges were pending against Milton, but DeBusk said this afternoon that it appears Milton won't be charged.
Moore is a senior wide receiver out of Tatum, Texas. Hughes is a sophomore defensive tackle out of Murfreesboro.
Brown is a junior-college transfer who was expected to provide some depth for the defensive line. The 6-2, 285-pounder out of Northeast Mississippi Community College originally signed with Florida but had various health concerns that helped prompt his transfer away from the Gators.
Rogers is a 6-foot-3, 205 pound receiver out of Georgia. He is a five-star wide receiver from Calhoun (Ga.) High School. He was widely considered the crown jewel of football coach Derek Dooley's first recruiting class with the Vols last spring after Dooley pried him away from Georgia.
Rogers was ranked the top recruit in the talent-rich state and among the top 100 prospects in the country. He wasn't an early-enrollee and missed spring practice, but after showing up last month for summer school he was expected to contribute right away in the UT passing game thanks to his blend of size and speed.
Like Rogers, Milton is another true freshman UT could use immediately at wide receiver to bolster the passing attack. The tall, 6-5 target had an impressive spring after enrolling in school early and showed an ability to make plays through the air despite some raw talent out of Mascoutah (Ill.) High School.
None of the players has been charged in connection with beating officer Robert Capouellez, who was found unconscious about 1:50 a.m. with a head wound in the street outside the Bar Knoxville, 1820 Cumberland Ave.
Another man, identified in records as Jerran Talley, 19, of Athens, allegedly was with the group involved in the beating. Talley is not a UT student and has not been charged.
Capouellez was a customer in the bar who apparently tried to help quell the disturbance as bouncers led the disruptive crowd from the bar.
"It appears he was a patron, not in uniform and off duty," DeBusk said.
Capouellez was undergoing treatment at the University of Tennessee for a head wound, DeBusk said. The 24-year-old officer has been with KPD since August 2008.
A UT Medical Center spokesman said Capouellez was in stable condition in the emergency room.
Police have charged UT freshman Rogers with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, DeBusk said.
Myles, a sophomore, was charged with assault, resisting arrest and evading arrest, records show. He was released after posing a $2,000 bond.
Myles is accused of assaulting UT Police Department Officer Brian Greenlee after the officer arrived at 2:04 a.m. to help Capouellez.
Greenlee's affidavit states he was directed by bar bouncers to a group of people "involved in a fight with the officer." Greenlee said after he identified himself as an officer to the group, Myles "fled from me on foot southbound towards Lake Avenue," the records state.
Greenlee caught up with Myles on Lake Avenue and tried to arrest him, records show.
"The defendant (Myles) slipped out of my grip and struck me in the face on my left side," Greenlee wrote. Myles continued to resist, the officer noted, and ran toward Cumberland Avenue.
According to UTPD records, Greenlee was trying to put Myles in a restraint hold for handcuffing when Myles' continued resistance led him to smash his elbow into the officer's face just below his left eye. Greenlee did not require medical treatment.
UTPD Officer Christopher McCann stated in a report that he joined the hunt for the running Myles, who was found hiding under a parked BMW behind the old Days Inn building. When ordered to come out, Myles did but ran toward Lake Avenue.
McCann and KPD Sgt. Jason Keck continued the foot chase as Myles ran behind the Howard Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy building and then by Greve Hall and Henson Hall. The officers found Myles hiding in bushes at Henson Hall, McCann wrote.
Myles had an encounter in April with Knoxville police just hours after the Orange and White game. He was charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after a 2:29 a.m. incident at Sobu, 6213 Kingston Pike. Club bouncers had removed Myles from the business, but he continued causing problems in the parking lot.
Myles was riding on the hood of a car when officers arrived, police said. Officers said he fought them when he was arrested, but no officers were injured. Myles is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 12 on those charges.
Knoxville police spokesman DeBusk said the brawl began when the beaten patron was involved in an altercation with another customer "when several additional patrons jumped into the fight."
"Employees of the bar intervened and pushed the fight outside onto the sidewalk. Officer Capouellez intervened in an attempt to stop the fight when he was attacked.
"According to witnesses, the officer was hit in the head and knocked to the ground. Once on the ground the suspect kicked the officer several times before fleeing the scene. Six individuals were identified as potential suspects. These individuals were located and detained for questioning."
DeBusk said "there could be additional charges as the investigation continues."
DeBusk said police alerted Dooley, who is out of town, of the incident this morning.
More details as they develop online and in Saturday's News Sentinel.
News Sentinel sports writer Austin Ward contributed to this story.